Bethan Fagan

DiSE 101 with Worcester Wolves star Ellan Fraser

The Diploma in Sporting Excellence (often referred to as DiSE) offers aspiring athletes the opportunity to develop their sporting capability, by training in an elite environment supported by British Wheelchair Basketball whilst continuing in full time education.

This programme guides learners through several key skills on and off court, including technical and tactical skills on the court, physical capability including strength and conditioning, and psychological skills. Alongside sport specific skills, DiSE covers areas integral to personal development, building on skill areas that benefit young athletes such as: lifestyle organisation, career planning, communication and leadership, health and safety, and nutrition.

Applications for DiSE open 1st July 2022, and the deadline will be 17th July 2022. In order to apply, athletes must be aged 16 to 18 years old on 1/9/2022, be in full-time education studying A-Levels and / or BTEC Level 3 Qualifications for the next two academic years, and be a member of an affiliated wheelchair basketball club.

To give you an insight into the course, we spoke to Women’s Premier League Worcester Wolves player and current Year 2 DiSE athlete Ellan Fraser:

How did you first get involved in wheelchair basketball?

I started playing in 2015 after trying it at my school. The coach for my local team was there and he asked if I wanted to come to a training session, so I did and I absolutely loved it.

How did you find out about the DiSE programme?

The England Talent Manager at the time (Simon Fisher) approached me about it, it sounded really interesting and good fun.

What would you say are the main things you have got out of the DiSE programme – on and off court?

I definitely learnt more about the athlete lifestyle and how to develop as an athlete- the nutrition and fitness part of DiSE was very useful for improving my performance. Off court, DiSE helped me with my confidence, I made lots of good friends at the camps.

What are your aspirations following the programme? On the court, off the court?

I hope to study physiotherapy at university alongside playing for the Worcester Wolves Women’s Premier League team and continuing on the HPP. I would also love to represent team GB one day!

What would you say to someone considering applying?

Definitely do it, it’s worth it and the 64 UCAS points is helpful (this does not apply to all universities, but can help and support with applications regardless). DiSE not only helps you but also your team as well; the knowledge gained from the course can be taken back to your teams to help them!

DiSE applications open 1st of July. For more information, head to the webpage: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/diploma-in-sporting-excellence-dise/

For further information, email England Talent Manager Justine Lucas at j.lucas@britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk

Policy update: Team England 3×3 Selection Policy

British Wheelchair Basketball continually reviews its policies and procedures to ensure we are implementing strong governance across the sport. The following policy has been updated and the new version of the policy is now live on the BWB website. A summary of changes are as follows:

You do not need to do anything, the changes to the policy will come into immediate effect. The policy can be found on our policies page: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/rules-regulations/policies/

2022/23 BWB Membership now available!

The online portal is now open to purchase your British Wheelchair Basketball membership for the 2022-2023 season. This membership will allow you to compete in British Wheelchair Basketball competitions and leagues, including National League, Women’s Premier League, Junior League, and Women’s League.

Current 2021/22 BWB Individual Membership will expire on 31st August 2022, and membership for the 2022/23 season will become active on 1st September 2022.

Adult Membership (£30) and Junior Membership (£15) will include a variety of benefits and must be purchased if involved in National and Local Leagues and Competitions, as a player, coach, official, welfare officer, classifier, team staff or you have a role at a club. 

Junior participants looking to be involved in Junior Championships 2022 and School Games Finals 2022 later this year will require 2022/23 membership.

Clubs have received direct communications on the membership timeline and club membership, as well as team registration deadlines and requirements. For any further questions or issues, please get in touch at membership@britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk

Individual membership 2022/23: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/membership/

Club Affiliation and Team Entry 2022/23: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/2019-20-membership-club-and-competition-fees/

BWB National Competition Rules and Regulations (2022-23): https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/mdocs-posts/bwb-national-competition-rules-and-regulations-2022-23/

School Games National Finals 2022 England trials

The School Games National Finals 2022 will take place 1st September – 4th September at Loughborough University. The Wheelchair Basketball competition will be played as the 3×3 format and will feature separate boys’ and girls’ competitions. 

All athletes interested in attending must sign-up in advance via Playwaze. To attend a selection camp, athletes need to be a BWB 2022/23 Member. The membership portal is due to go live the week commencing 6th June.

Click here for the School Games athlete selection policy.

Athletes interested in representing Scotland should contact Tina Gordon for more information.

Further details about trials for Wales will be released in due course.

The full list of England trials are below.

England School Games 2022 trials:

Nottingham Wildcats Arena – 18th June: https://bwb.playwaze.com/activity/corh35n4y4/session-display?eventid=PhysicalEvents/25697-A&d=null

K2 Crawley – 19th June: https://bwb.playwaze.com/activity/corh35n4y4/session-display?eventid=PhysicalEvents/25698-A

Leeds Beckett University – 3rd July: https://bwb.playwaze.com/activity/corh35n4y4/session-display?eventid=PhysicalEvents/25699-A

Nechells Wellbeing Centre – 3rd July: https://bwb.playwaze.com/activity/corh35n4y4/session-display?eventid=PhysicalEvents/25700-A

To be eligible to compete at the 2022 School Games, each athlete must be age 17 or under on 31 August 2021 (the youngest age a player must be is 13 at Midnight on 31st August 2022) and must be registered as a paid BWB member with BWB for the 2022/23 season, in addition to holding a player licence for the 2022/23 season. They must also have been within full-time education in the 2021/22 Academic year.

School Games official website: https://www.schoolgamesfinals.org/

For further information, please contact membership@britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk

The future stars of wheelchair basketball!

Over the last weekend, pathway events took place in Wales and Scotland. Both development events were well attended by the players who will certainly be making an impact on the game soon, including young athletes and players new to the sport.

In Wales, 28 women’s pathway players joined the GB Women’s Senior team for a full training day experience in Cardiff at the home of Women’s Premier League team Cardiff Met Archers. The day began with a presentation from England Talent Manager, Justine Lucas, on fundamental on and off court behaviours essential to becoming a GB player. Assisting with this presentation, current GB athlete Jade Atkin and recently retired GB athlete Sarah Hope spoke about their journeys into the programme and what it takes to compete at the highest level.

Following the presentations, HPP coaches Simon Fisher, Michael Hanson-Morris and Rosie Williams, alongside Scotland 3×3 Coach Mark Stevenson, delivered two sessions on the fundamental skills that had been outlined earlier in the day.

Throughout the day, the pathway players showed enthusiasm and engagement with the programme, making the most of every opportunity. To finish the day, the pathway players watched the GB players train, with three pathway players being invited to take part in the scrimmages.

In Scotland, the U14 Jr.NBA players trained alongside the U18s – a fantastic opportunity for the younger players to gain skills and confidence in a fun environment. The U18s are currently completing their Level 1 Refereeing course, supporting by the Lord Taverners Junior Development Project. The NY Knicks vs Toronto Raptors match was a highlight of the day, refereed by the U18s who put their new skills to the test.

GB round-up: 21st/22nd May

After a hard-fought regular season in the Spanish league and an exciting return to the European Cup earlier this month, the Spanish teams congregated in Malaga for the 44th edition of the Copa del Rey BSR.

A score of GB talent on the court as Amivel Reyes Gutierrez (Abdi Jama, Tyler Baines, Peter Cusack) were narrowly defeated 74:71 in the quarterfinals by Amiab Albacete (Kyle Marsh, Harry Brown, Ben Fox, Gaz Choudhry, Lee Manning). For Amivel, Abdi Jama had 16 points, 1 assist and 4 rebounds. Peter Cusack had 9 points, 4 assists and 8 rebounds.

CD Ilunion (Greg Warburton, Terry Bywater) were defeated in the quarterfinals by Bidaideak Bilbao (James MacSorley) side 69:63. Greg Warburton had 10 points, 4 assists and 1 rebound. Terry Bywater was game leader on points and assists with 30 points and 10 assists, and had 10 rebounds.

Progressing into the semi-finals, recent league winners and Eurocup champions Amiab Albacete (Kyle Marsh, Harry Brown, Ben Fox, Gaz Choudhry, Lee Manning) and league rivals Mideba Extremadura (Charlotte Moore, Phil Pratt, Lewis Edwards) were both defeated in the semi-finals and met on court in the 3rd/4th place playoff.

Albacete took the victory 68:78, placing 3rd overall in the Copa del Rey. For Albacete, Kyle Marsh had 5 points, 1 assist and 1 rebound. Harry Brown had 8 points, 1 assist and 5 rebounds. Ben Fox had 8 points and 3 rebounds. Gaz Choudhry was game leader on points, assists and rebounds with 27 points, 14 assists and 8 rebounds. Lee Manning had 10 points, 2 assists and 7 rebounds. For Mideba Extremadura, Charlotte Moore had 8 points. Lewis Edwards had 15 points, 4 assists and 4 rebounds. Phil Pratt had 19 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds.

In the final, Bidaideak Bilbao (James MacSorley) took the win 72:67 against ACE Gran Canaria, earning their first ever Copa del Rey victory. In the final, James MacSorley had 4 points and 4 rebounds.

In France, CS Meaux (Helen Freeman) won 81:48 against Lille.

BWB Appoints Emma Calvert as its new Non-Executive Risk and Finance Director for a four-year term commencing 27 April 2022

An accomplished financial professional and qualified accountant, Emma will provide British Wheelchair Basketball with a unique insight into financial and treasury management within sport.

She brings to the Board six years’ experience of working within the financial sector, most recently as Global Head of Treasury for City Football Group, and prior to this as Liquidity and Funding Control Director at Morgan Stanley.

The appointment marks Emma’s first role on a National Governing Body Board. Having previously represented Lancashire at both Tennis and Cricket, Emma’s role at British Wheelchair Basketball will bring together her extensive financial expertise and her passion for inclusive sport.

Emma takes over the role of Non-Executive Risk and Finance Director from Jo Simpson FCCA, who’s eight-year tenure to the British Wheelchair Basketball Board concluded in April 2022. During her two terms in post, the sport has changed and evolved dramatically most recently through the formation of the four High-Performance Partnerships and launch of the Women’s Premier League.

Chair of British Wheelchair Basketball Board Jules Parke-Robinson commented:

“It is a real pleasure to welcome Emma to our Board as our new Non-Executive Risk and Finance Director. The sport is in an incredible place with significant opportunities to continue to grow and develop. We are continually breaking new ground for parasport and Emma’s appointment will support the Board to ensure a financial and governance resilience for the organisation, both critical to our strategic growth.

“Jo’s influence is notable, not only within the Board but also across the wider sport; she has left behind a rich legacy and I would like to express our thanks for the countless hours she has dedicated behind the scenes over the last eight years to leave the sport great shape it is in today.”

Emma Calvert commented on her appointment:

“I feel privileged and excited to be given this opportunity to support the development of British Wheelchair Basketball. I look forward to working with the board and executive team to build on the incredible work that has already been done and play a part in the future vision and strategy of this amazing sport.”

Birmingham 2022 3×3 groups confirmed!

Press release: International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF)

Cover photo credit: Christopher Cox Photography

The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) are pleased to announce the 12 national wheelchair basketball teams that will compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

6 men’s teams – England, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Australia, Canada, Malaysia – and 6 women’s teams – England, South Africa, Scotland, Australia, Canada, Kenya – will make history being part of the wheelchair basketball 3×3 competition making its debut at the Commonwealth Games.

The wheelchair basketball competition will take place at Smithfield, formerly the site of Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets, in an integrated programme with the running basketball game, and will run in a two-group format followed by semi-finals and finals.

The groups were drawn at the Library of Birmingham on Tuesday 17 May 2022 hosted by Birmingham 2022 and overseen by the IWBF Chair of Competition Charlie Bethel, with guests including Team England Wheelchair Basketball 3×3 Head Coaches, Mathew Foden and Lucas Warburton.

In the women’s competition, the first four teams were drawn out with Canada and Kenya in Group A and Australia and South Africa in Group B. As hosts, England then got to choose which group to be placed in. They chose to be placed in Group A, meaning Scotland were placed in Group B.

In the men’s competition, Malaysia and South Africa were drawn in Group A, with Australia and Canada being drawn in Group B. Again, hosts England decided to be placed in Group A, with Northern Ireland going into Group B.

IWBF’s President, Ulf Mehrens, said: “It’s great to see such a mix of nations in the line-up for the wheelchair basketball 3×3 competition in Birmingham 2022, from well-established to new upcoming teams. This is a what we hoped 3×3 would bring to the game of wheelchair basketball, new opportunities for smaller and developing nations.

“As a relatively new discipline for wheelchair basketball, we are extremely excited to be able to showcase it at such a well renowned multi-sport event as the Commonwealth Games and would like to thank everyone involved in CGF, Birmingham 2022, and FIBA for driving this forward.

“I’d like to wish all the teams good luck in their preparations and look forward to seeing them in Birmingham in July.”

Matt Kidson, Director of Sport said: “It’s fantastic news that we now have confirmation of the men’s and women’s draw for the wheelchair basketball 3×3 tournament at Birmingham 2022.

“This will be the first time that wheelchair basketball 3×3 has ever been part of the Commonwealth Games so these teams will be making history in Birmingham. The competition venue is currently under construction at Smithfield, which is in the heart of the host city, and is a location which we know will come alive at Games time.

“Basketball 3×3 and wheelchair basketball 3×3 tickets are selling very fast so I would urge anyone who wants to be there to witness this historic tournament to buy their tickets now.”

CGF President Dame Louise Martin said: “Congratulations to the outstanding men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball teams who have qualified for Birmingham 2022. We are set for an historic competition as wheelchair basketball 3×3 makes it’s Commonwealth Games debut. We look forward to an inspiring competition at Smithfield, right in the heart of Birmingham’s city centre, showcasing our commitment to a world class, fully integrated competition.”

The schedule will follow in the next few weeks. Tickets for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games are currently available at www.birmingham2022.com

Press release: International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF)