Bethan Fagan

GB Men qualify for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

GB Men have qualified for the 2024 Paralympic Games following a gripping display of teamwork and skill against Germany in the semi-finals of the 2023 IWBF European Championships, winning 63:42. They now head into the final of the European Para Championships 2023, held in Rotterdam, with their sights set firmly on gold.

Gregg Warburton commented:
“It feels good to know we have a guaranteed spot at Paris. There was a lot on the line today and it was really difficult. [Germany] are a hell of a team with some superb world class players.

“Another tick on the list, done. Another job done. But we’re not satisfied, we’re not happy with that, we’re gonna go again. Obviously we wanted to qualify for Paris but our plan was to come here and win gold. We’re not settling for second best or anything less and we’re ready to go on Saturday!”

Photo credit: BWB / SA Images

Coach Bill Johnson commented:
“We had a two-part goal coming to this event. Of course, the guys wanted to win a European championship, with Covid-19 taking away the last opportunity. That tournament was, as life was, all over the place. So, our two-part goal was winning the Europeans and qualifying for the Paralympics. We’re half way there now and it’s a good feeling.”

The men’s final will take place on Saturday 19th August at 4:30pm BST. GB Women head out for their final against Netherlands tomorrow (18th August) at 7pm BST.

Follow GB Men and GB Women as they progress through the competition via our GB Fanzone: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/

Watch the games live on the European Para Championships website: https://www.epc2023.tv/

Photo credit: BWB / SA Images

GB Women qualify for Paris 2024 Paralympic Games

GB Women have qualified for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games following a thrilling performance in the semi-finals of the 2023 IWBF European Championships in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Following the win against Germany in the semi-finals, GB Women booked their place in the finals of the European Championships against hosts Netherlands and confirmed their ticket to Paris 2024, claiming one of two zonal places available at this competition.

Captain Sophie Carrigill commented:

“Honestly, I’m overwhelmed with emotion. I’m so, so proud of this team. The performance that we just put out there.

“I’m absolutely buzzing – it means the world to us and you can tell that from our reactions and how much that meant to us. But that performance was incredible. A massive shout out to the whole team, no matter what, staff included.”

Head Coach Miguel Vaquero Maestre commented:

“To come here, to fight against these amazing teams, to make sure we get our ticket to Paris, I’m super proud today.

“Our defence was incredible and I would like to reinforce that the main area for the attacking plan was from Jorge [Borba], my assistant coach. He decided 100% the key ideas and I trusted him 100%. I’m super happy”

GB Women will have a rest day tomorrow (17th August) before heading into the final on Friday 18th August at 7pm BST. GB Men are focused on securing their Paralympic qualification tomorrow in their semi-final against Germany.

Follow GB Men and GB Women as they progress through the competition via our GB Fanzone: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/

Watch the games live on the European Para Championships website: https://www.epc2023.tv/

Photo credit: BWB / SA Images

European Championships 2023: Day five

The final day of group stage games had GB fans in need of two screens as both teams played on court at the same time.

GB Men took the win 67:53 against France, winning their pool with a perfect result of 5 played, 5 won. Terry Bywater was joint game leader with Phil Pratt on points with 14 points each. Bywater and Gregg Warburton were joint team leaders on rebounds with 8 rebounds each. Pratt was game leader on assists with 11 assists.

BWB / SA Images

GB Women were defeated 64:50 by event hosts Netherlands, the current Paralympic, World and European Champions. Robyn Love was team leader on points with 16 points, closely followed by Lucy Robinson with 13. Helen Freeman was game leader on assists with 9 assists. Love was team leader on rebounds with 8 rebounds.

GB Men play in the quarter-final against Poland. GB Women play Germany once again, this time in the semi-final. For both teams, a place in the final of the 2023 IWBF European Championships confirms their spot at the Paris 2024 Paralympics.

Follow GB Men and GB Women as they progress through the competition via our GB Fanzone: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/

Watch the games live on the European Para Championships website: https://www.epc2023.tv/

Photo credits: BWB / SA Images

European Championships 2023: Day four

A positive day for GB at the 2023 IWBF European Championships as both teams secure victories in their fourth pool stage games.

GB Women took the win 68:26 against France, their second victory in a row. Kayla Bell was a key asset in building GB’s lead, ensuring scoring opportunities with perfectly placed curl assists. The GB defense was fierce, shutting down France’s scoring chances and capitalising on fumbled possession by the opposition. A coast-to-coast from Joy Haizelden earned a cheer from the GB supporters at the Ahoy. Robyn Love was game leader on points with 22 points, and Helen Freeman was game leader on rebounds and assists with 13 rebounds and 14 assists. Haizelden had 5 steals.

BWB / SA Images

GB Men took the win 56:70 in a physical competition against Italy, a crucial for the team as they progress through the pool stage. Italy were hard hitting, and soon began to rack up the fouls as the tension built across the court. Gregg Warburton found his rhythm shooting and was game leader on points with 23 points. Lee Manning was a disruptive force under the basket, earning 13 rebounds in the process. Phil Pratt was game leader on assists with 19 assists. Harry Brown went 8/9 on free throws, ending the game with 16 points.

Follow GB Men and GB Women as they progress through the competition via our GB Fanzone: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/

Watch the games live on the European Para Championships website: https://www.epc2023.tv/

European Championships 2023: Day three

Photo credits: BWB / SA Images

A crucial win against Spain for GB Women, and GB Men go 3/3 on day three of the 2023 IWBF European Championships.

GB Women took the win 70:53 against a strong Spanish side. The starting five were relentless from the tipoff, with Robyn Love expertly claiming the first points. Jade Atkin muscled through Spain’s defence to build the foundations of GB’s lead. Charlotte Moore was on form blocking the Spanish offensive manoeuvres, securing 5 rebounds. Helen Freeman closed out the first half by sinking a three-pointer, earning a roar from the crowd. Freeman was game leader on assists with 11 assists.

BWB / SA Images

GB Men won 83:49 against Israel in a game that showcased the depth of the squad. Lee Manning claimed game leader on points with 17 points, and joint game leader on rebounds with Martin Edwards who had 7 rebounds. Lee Fryer was close behind Manning on points with 16 points. Phil Pratt was game leader on assists with 9 assists. The GB Men controlled the tempo of the game throughout, carving through Israel defences and creating unstoppable offensive opportunities for themselves.

Next up, GB Women play France tomorrow (14/08) at 2pm BST. GB Men face Italy at 7pm BST.

Follow GB Men and GB Women as they progress through the competition via our GB Fanzone: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/

Watch the games live on the European Para Championships website: https://www.epc2023.tv/

European Championships 2023: Day two

Photo credits: BWB / SA Images

Day two of the wheelchair basketball programme at the European Para Championships saw a doubleheader for the GB Men and GB Women.

GB Men delivered a comprehensive performance against Austria, securing a 50:100 win. Youngster Lee Fryer topped the stats with 21 points. Kyle Marsh was game leader on assists with 8 assists. The GB Men were steadfast in defence, blocking and stealing across the court to minimise the Austrian side’s opportunities.

Credit: BWB / SA Images

GB Women took a 15:83 win against Turkiye in their second game of the 2023 European Championships. Anastasia Blease, the youngest member of the GB Women’s squad, made her GB Senior debut. Jade Atkin was a force to be reckoned with, putting up 24 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals. Teammate Helen Freeman was game leader on assists with 7 assists.

Tomorrow (13/08), GB Women play Spain at 9am BST. GB Men play Israel at 6pm BST.

Follow GB Men and GB Women as they progress through the competition via our GB Fanzone: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/

Watch the games live on the European Para Championships website: https://www.epc2023.tv/ 

European Championships 2023: Day one

Day one of the wheelchair basketball programme at the European Para Championships got underway with an explosive display of skill and heart across the two game courts.

GB Women were up first for their opening game of the 2023 European Championships. Germany took the win 43:48 after a tough battle.

Laurie Williams marked her return to international basketball following the birth of her daughter. Robyn Love was game leader on points with 17 points, making a statement on her return following her break in the summer. Helen Freeman was joint game leader on rebounds with 11 rebounds and was team leader on assists with 8 assists.

Credit to EPC2023 / Euro Para Championships

Later in the day, GB Men had a 58:44 victory against Turkiye, getting their European Championships 2023 campaign off to a winning start. Gregg Warburton was game leader on points with 19 points, with Ben Fox close behind with 18 points. Lee Manning topped the charts with 14 rebounds. Phil Pratt had a game-leading 9 assists.

Follow GB Men and GB Women as they progress through the competition via our GB Fanzone: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/

Watch the games live on the European Para Championships website: https://www.epc2023.tv/

CEO Update: 10th August 2023

Written by Justine Baynes, CEO of British Wheelchair Basketball

What a fantastic weekend we had at our Kukri National Junior Championships! I was delighted to see so many young players competing and enjoying themselves. I was particularly struck by the energy in the room throughout the weekend, it really was an exciting competition. I would also like to thank all of the volunteers who supported us – we couldn’t run any of our events and competitions without you, so thank you to everyone who gives up their time for our sport.

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to take part in our consultation about the development of the junior programme. We were thrilled by the number of people who were willing to contribute and the information that you gave us. Our researchers said that they were taken aback by the passion and love for the sport that everyone showed in their conversations. I know that there were a few people who did not manage to book a slot over the weekend, but please do not worry. We will be sending out an online questionnaire at the end of this month so please do use this opportunity to give us your thoughts.

Once we have completed the consultation process, we will share the recommendations with you as well as an implementation programme timetable – its important to see this as a long term investment and not simply a few quick fix changes!

As I write this, the GB Men’s and GB Women’s teams are gathering in Loughborough ahead of their departure for the European Championships in Rotterdam. This is also our Paris qualifying event, so there is a lot riding on the next two weeks! The IWBF European Championships this year are part of a huge Para multi-sport event, so it will be interesting to see how that is delivered and whether it is a sustainable event model. Please join me in wishing our teams the very best of luck and follow our social channels to support the teams!

Support the GB Men and GB Women at the European Championships – head to our Fanzone to find out more: https://britishwheelchairbasketball.co.uk/fan-zone/iwbf-european-championships-2023/