British Wheelchair Basketball has today announced the line-up of the four teams competing in its inaugural Women’s Premier League.
The British Wheelchair Basketball Women’s Premier League will be the first of its kind for women’s wheelchair basketball, and the very first professional para-sport league in the UK.
The season will begin in January 2022, with Cardiff Met Archers, East London Phoenix, Loughborough Lightning and Worcester Wolves competing for the inaugural title.
The franchises are linked to four universities which will be centres of excellence for wheelchair basketball in the UK for both men and women. These High Performance Partnerships will develop and nurture wheelchair basketball talent, acting as hubs to incubate and develop future elite athletes and increase access to the Paralympic talent pathways across the UK.
The introduction of the league is a bold step forward for the sport in creating competitive domestic opportunities, increasing participation and challenging misconceptions of disability sport.
Lisa Pearce, British Wheelchair Basketball’s Chief Executive, said:
“We saw how the nation got behind the sport during the Paralympic Games, so I’m really excited to create more opportunities for people to watch wheelchair basketball in the UK. The teams include a range of leading players and up-and-coming talent, so it’s going to be a hugely interesting league to watch evolve.
“I am absolutely delighted to be working with our four High Performance Partnerships and creating more opportunities for elite female talent, both in the UK and internationally. Today is another important moment in achieving our big ambitions to raise the profile of the sport, build new audiences and create more opportunities for people to play across all levels.”
Three-time Paralympian and GB player Amy Conroy, who has been signed for the London side, added:
“I am genuinely so excited to be playing for East London Phoenix! The creation of the Women’s Premier League is absolutely huge for the sport and for us as players. To be able to compete in the UK and make our sport as accessible as possible – and get a feel for what a great game it is, is amazing! As cheesy as it sounds, wheelchair basketball changed my view of my disability and really helped my self-confidence, so if more awareness of the sport through the Premier League and Phoenix can do the same for others, then that’s a pretty game changing result!”
Cardiff Met Archers
East London Phoenix
Charlotte Thornton White
To find out more, visit www.britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/womens-premier-league.