Bethan Fagan

School Games alumni at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

At Birmingham 2022, a total of 265 former School Games athletes competed for the home nations, winning a total of 100 medals (126 medallists). Nine School Games alumni represented their nation in the historic first ever appearance of wheelchair basketball at the Commonwealth Games.

Team Northern Ireland and GB athlete James MacSorley competed in the first ever editions of the School Games Finals in 2011 and 2012. Alongside James competing in Birmingham was Conn Nagle (2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018) and Nathan McCabe (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021).

Winning bronze in both the men’s and women’s competitions, Team England also had a score of School Games alumni out on the 3×3 court in Birmingham.

Charlie McIntyre, who competed in the 2021 School Games Finals, won bronze with Team England Men’s in Birmingham and will be competing this year in the 2022 School Games Finals. Alongside Charlie, Tyler Baines (2018) and Abderrahim Taghrest (2018 and 2021) competed in Birmingham with the England Men’s team to win bronze.

Team England Women’s 3×3 team featured three School Games alumni, with Joy Haizelden and Charlotte Moore having both competed in the 2013 and 2014 editions of the Games. Jade Atkin (2018) will be returning to the games this year with the England squads as part of the team staff.

Jade Atkin competing at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games – BWB / SA Images

On the 2022 School Games, Jade commented:

“My time at the School Games helped me prepare for the future as it helped me get an idea of what a future tournament would be like.

“A memory I have from School Games is having a place to watch the games and all the athlete zones we could go into. I think that was really cool as it helped us make lots of friends and socialise.

“Coming back to School Games is a proud moment for me to be able to go back and look at the next generation, and to socialise with all of them is very exciting to me.”

The School Games Finals take place 1st – 4th September, with over 1,300 athletes descending on the Loughborough University campus to take part in the Games across ten different sports. The wheelchair basketball competition begins Friday 2nd September through to Sunday 4th, and will be played in the 3×3 format seen at the Commonwealth Games.

Tickets are available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/2022Schoolgamesfinals

The new England Player Pathway launches!

Following the success of the Team England men’s and women’s teams at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with both teams winning bronze medals, the England Player Pathway launches. This pathway gives structure and opportunities to athletes across a variety of skill and performance levels with the aim of strengthening the future of the England programme.

The coaching team for the England Player Pathway features a strong field of experience in the sport and performance environments. The head coaches for the pathway are: Zviko Chigumba, Andy Craddock, Grant Barker, Paula Johnson and Adam McMullen. Joining the head coaches are a team of talented assistant coaches, which are: Jack Davey, Ryan Raghoo and Tom Creese

Athletes involved in the programme will benefit from a calendar of camps to sharpen their on-court abilities and off-court skills, with selections due to take place in September.

England Talent Manager Justine Lucas commented:

“I am really excited to get going with the England Player Pathway this year. We have some really passionate and dedicated coaches on board, and we are looking forward to making selections for the pathway in the coming weeks.

“This will be a great opportunity for athletes to engage in additional training and use the England Player Pathway Development Framework to develop both as a person and as an athlete. We can’t wait to get started!”

Find out more about the England Player Pathway here: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/mdocs-posts/england-player-pathway-august-2022/

Excitement builds for the School Games National Finals 2022

Taking place September 1st – 4th, the School Games National Finals 2022 returns to Loughborough University – marking the 15th year the competition has taken place.

Wheelchair basketball is featured on the roster of sports, with teams from across the country gathering to challenge for the titles in both the Boys and Girls competitions. Fixtures take place in the Netball Centre, beginning Friday 2nd September and concluding on Sunday 4th September.

As seen in the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and in previous School Games Finals, the wheelchair basketball competition will be played in the 3×3 format. The 3×3 format is a faster style of play, with athletes requiring great technical and tactical skills to score baskets whilst managing the on-court pressure that comes with a 12-second shot clock.

Last year at the School Games National Finals 2021, England North Girls and England South Boys were named champions following a tough competition.

The School Games National Finals have been an integral part in developing GB athletes across the country since the first iteration of the event. Young athletes will experience a multi-sport experience, mixing with other athletes in the village and across campus, as well as gaining valuable skills from a variety of education programmes.

Schedule: https://www.schoolgamesfinals.org/schedule/

Tickets are available here: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/2022Schoolgamesfinals

The teams taking part in the School Games National Finals 2022 are:

Girls teams:

  • Wales
  • England Green
  • England Orange
  • England Purple

Boys teams:

  • England Green
  • England Black
  • England Purple
  • England Orange
  • Wales
  • Scotland White
  • Scotland Blue

British Wheelchair Basketball extend partnership with Kukri Sports

Press release: Kukri Sports

Kukri Sports are proud to announce a 5-year extension of our partnership with British Wheelchair Basketball, the governing body for the sport in the UK.

As part of the deal Kukri will design and manufacture all GB apparel for the national squads, as well as providing a full sport-clothing offering for British Wheelchair Basketball clubs.

Kukri will also be the title sponsor of the Junior League, Junior National Championships and Junior League Elite 8’s.

British Wheelchair Basketball is the governing body for wheelchair basketball in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – find out more

“We are delighted to welcome Kukri Sports to the wheelchair basketball family as headline sponsors of our Junior Programme. British Wheelchair Basketball already enjoys an established relationship with Kukri, who have been the sports official clothing partner since November 2020, and today’s announcement reinforces their commitment to the development and growth of the sport through their investment in the Junior Programme.” Lisa Pearce – Chief Executive, British Wheelchair Basketball.

“We are ecstatic to extend our partnership with British Wheelchair Basketball, for the next 5 years. It is a truly unique relationship where we are looking to drive the sport in the country to achieve so much, it is so exciting where BWB are taking it and we are so proud to support this! The product is so important to this partnership too, we are continually looking to develop our offering to ensure we are delivering kit that performs for the athletes, made specifically for wheelchair basketball players, and can’t wait to see these products out on court.” Josh Beal – Sales Director, Kukri Sports

Kukri Sports are a global sportswear supplier offering superior quality bespoke garments, across multiple sports, from grassroots, to elite level. To find out how we can support your sportswear needs visit www.kukrisports.com

Lisa Pearce announces her departure from British Wheelchair Basketball

This morning current CEO of British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB), Lisa Pearce, announced that she will be leaving the National Governing Body in September 2022, concluding her four-year appointment at the helm.

During her remarkable tenure, Lisa has championed the sport as it consistently broke new ground for para sport in the UK and internationally. Her singular determination to break down barriers to participation and her fundamental belief that everyone should have the opportunity to take part in sport and activity, leaves the sport with strong foundations for future growth.

Under her leadership the sport has seen the performance landscape evolve through the introduction of the four High Performance Partnerships (and Women’s Premier League) in 2020, as an integral element of BWB’s Paris UK Sport Strategy. She also been critical in wheelchair basketball retaining its place as a Paralympic Sport, through her international influence and support of classification reform. Lisa also leaves the sport in a financially strong position, having secured significant long-term commercial investment into the sport during her four-year term.

Lisa will leave the NGB in September ahead of taking up her new appointment as Director  at Leicester City Football Club Women.

On announcing her departure Lisa stated:

“During the last four years I have had the privilege to lead an incredible sport, organisation, and team.  Together we have achieved so many amazing things for our sport and have in place a clear strategy and resources to continue to deliver this growth.

“I would like to thank our membership, clubs and the staff team for their enormous support and belief in the significant potential of wheelchair basketball. We have navigated some challenging times through COVID-19, but we have also witnessed the joys of seeing medals won by our incredible GBR athletes, launched a mass participation campaign in ‘Inspire A Generation’ and regularly brought the sport to new audiences through the BBC streaming of the Women’s Premier League. I feel hugely fortunate to have been part of this journey.”

Chair of the Board, Jules Parke-Robinson added:

“Lisa has been a force of nature during her tenure as CEO, her vision, determination, and passion have driven the sport to the strong position it is in today. The BWB Board would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Lisa for her commitment and the transformational change she has delivered for wheelchair basketball.

“We wish her every success as she embarks on her new role at Leicester City Football Club.”

Junior Championships 2022 – our champions named!

Athletes took to the courts this weekend as we welcomed back Junior Championships, with scores of family and friends filling the University of Worcester Arena with support. Across three courts, U14s and U18s teams displayed their skills throughout both days.  

In the U14s pool stages of Junior Championships, Yorkshire U14 had a successful day, having won every game they played, going 6/6. In the semi-finals, Yorkshire U14s won 36-22 against Scotland U14s, and South East U14s suffered a 24-18 defeat against Wales U14s.

Showing resilience after a tough pool, Scotland U14s put on a great display of teamwork to win the bronze medal match 32-18 against South East U14s. In the gold medal match, Yorkshire U14s won 22-12 against Wales U14s.

In the highly competitive U18s competition, in Pool A there was a top of the table tie between Yorkshire U18s and Wales U18s as both teams went 5/6 on wins. In Pool B, South East U18s had a strong performance winning 5/6.

In the U18s semi-finals, Yorkshire U18s won 37- 18 against Scotland U18s, and South East 1 U18s won 48-20 against Wales U18s. In the bronze medal match, Scotland U18s were defeated in a close, high-scoring match by Wales U18s 34-37.

In the U18s final, South East 1 took the win 21-43 against Yorkshire U18s, featuring a match-up between recent Team England bronze medalists Charlie McIntyre (Yorkshire U18s) and Abderrahim Taghrest (South East 1).

Athletes who received bronze, silver, and gold medals were awarded their medals by GB athletes Charlotte Moore, Siobhan Fitzpatrick, Jade Atkin and Gregg Warburton.

A huge well done to all athletes who took part!

Final placings:

U14s:

  1. Yorkshire
  2. Wales
  3. Scotland
  4. South East

U18s:  

  1. South East 1
  2. Yorkshire
  3. Wales
  4. Scotland
  5. West Midlands
  6. South East 2
  7. North East

Sign up for a summer of CPD with BWB!

From August 15th to August 25th, we’re delivering a series of workshops across a variety of topics to help you develop your personal and club skills. These workshops are free to attend and are all being hosted remotely.

Workshops include:

  • 3×3 for Table Officials
  • Game management for referees
  • Playwaze drop ins
  • Inspire a Generation
  • Positions of Trust
  • Developing your action plan
  • How to: Eligibility Applications
  • Safeguarding checklist

To sign up, head to the link below and select ‘I’m looking for: Live Streams’ to find the events

Book now: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/get-involved/play/activity-finder/

For further information, or if you have any questions, please email membership@britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk

B2022: Home nation heroes take podium places on a historic day for wheelchair basketball!

In the opener on our final day of Commonwealth Games 3×3 action, Northern Ireland took the win 10-7 against South Africa in the 5/6th place playoff match. The team has had a journey to be proud of, earning their way to Birmingham 2022 in a dramatic final at the IWBF European qualifier where they won in overtime.

Northern Ireland’s Conn Nagle commented:

“We knew what South Africa would bring to the table as we’ve played them already, so today was just about going out and getting a strong start, putting the game to bed early and show them what we’re all about. We started slowly but we managed to get into a groove to hold them off at the end there, so buzzing to get the win.”

The women’s bronze medal match saw a clash of home nations as England Women took the win 12-10 over Scotland Women in a fiercely competitive game. Both teams featured GB athletes who have played on the international circuit together, as well as in Women’s Premier League, so the crowd was treated to an exciting match-up.

England’s Charlie Moore commented:

“I’m just so proud of our team right now for coming together – I think we’ve done an awesome job throughout this tournament, sticking together as a team. It’s amazing the amount of people who have come out to support us, its really incredible out there.”

Scotland Women finish fourth following their defeat by England, but their resilience and pride has been a motivating and inspiring journey to follow.

Scotland’s Lynsey Speirs commented:  

“We stuck together as a team throughout all of this. We have a mix of experience, and we’ve been helping each other and bringing each other on so I couldn’t be prouder of us. I’m so happy to have been able to perform here in front of all the Scotland fans and family, so, although it wasn’t the result we wanted, I couldn’t be happier.”

In the men’s bronze medal match, England Men’s achieved a 21-point game to stop the clock early against Malaysia and secure the bronze in front of a roaring home crowd. England Men had already played against Malaysia in the pool stages, so they had previous experience of the team heading into the match and used this to their advantage.

Tyler Baines commented:

“Wheelchair basketball has never been at the Commonwealth Games before, and to medal on our first time is unbelievable – a dream come true… We got to 21 points with two seconds left on the clock, and that was our aim, that’s what we wanted to do all tournament, and we did it in our final game.”

A huge congratulations to all athletes and team staff who competed in Birmingham 2022. We’d also like to extend a huge well done to all referees and table officials who worked the 3×3 games, as well as BWB members who volunteered at the Games.