ParalympicsGB Women qualify for the Quarter-Finals of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics Games

Dramatic scenes unfolded in Tokyo’s Ariake Wheelchair Basketball Arena as ParalympicsGB Women delivered a dramatic win against Australia to secure their place in the Quarter-Finals. The GB Women will now face China at 10:15 (BST) on Tuesday 31 August to battle for a place in the semi-finals.

The team fought hard to find its form during the opening games of the tournament, with tough losses against hosts Japan, Canada and Germany.  Their final pool game against Australia was to be a defining moment of their Paralympic Campaign, determining their qualification into the quarter finals.

Hitting the court after a 20-month absence from international competition, the GB Women had trained for the postponed 2020 Paralympics under the shadow of the UK’s COVID-19 restrictions, and during three national lockdowns.  The unique circumstances of their preparation, limited by significant periods of no equipment sharing, no close contact training, and no access to indoor basketball court environments, shines a light on the resilience of the team whose individual determination to be in Tokyo saw garages converted into gyms, and wheelchair basketball training taking place on outdoor courts and carparks.

As a GB Team they finally came together in the spring of 2021, to commence restricted environment training camps where the squad could begin their Paralympic Games preparation.  In contrast to previous major tournament’s strict travel restrictions and quarantine rules removed the opportunity for the Team to experience international pre-games training and competition environments ahead of taking to court in Tokyo. 

During the opening pool games it was clear that the squad needed the time to find its form, but tough loses against Japan, Canada and Germany were hard fought.

Following the 75-38 win against Australia, ParalympicGB’s Co-Captain Maddie Thompson commented:

“We really did ourselves proud – yesterday I said there was an ambition to find the GB Way and we really found it today. We really believed in ourselves today and I think it is really powerful when you play with a smile.  The biggest thing going into today was to have fun – remember why we play wheelchair basketball.

“I huddled everyone up and said this is for the sacrifices we make – we deserve to be here.  We’ve just started the mountain climb. We’ve got through the pools and we are now starting the climb to get into a medal position. That is where we are aiming.”

Jayne Ellis, ParalympicsGB Team Leader and BWB’s Performance Director added:

“I am so very very proud of this team, once again they have regrouped, refocused and come out onto court today determined to secure their quarter-final position. After such a long period away from competition, this is a huge stage for them to make their return.

“As World and European silver medallists they have been frustrated with the limitations of the training preparations (although understandable) – however, they have focused on basics and from today’s on-point shooting and the apparent depth in the squad it is clearly evident that this time was well spent.” 

ParalympicsGB Wheelchair Basketball arrive in Japan to commence much anticipated Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games competition

Today, British Wheelchair Basketball announced that both of its GB Teams have landed safely in Tokyo and are focused to begin their respective competition on Wednesday 25th and Thursday 26th August. 

The NGB confirmed that GB’s Head of Coaching and Tactical Development, Haj Bhania OBE, will remain in the UK to oversee the strategic tactical direction of both ParalympicsGB squads (alongside GB Assistant Coach Steve Caine).  COVID-19 regulations have prevented Haj Bhania accompanying the Men’s Team to Tokyo due to a positive COVID-19 test in the lead up to the Games.

Both ParalympicsGB Teams have planned for and tested extensive COVID-19 continuity plans during preparation camps, as well as for competition in Tokyo. A positive COVID-19 case is a scenario which has been considered and carefully planned for, with the emphasis on ensuring a continuity of performance support for the Teams in Tokyo and the UK. 

The Teams will benefit from a strong and well-equipped support team in place to lead on the ground in Tokyo, consisting of Gaz Choudhry transitioning to the role of the men’s team player/coach, and the women’s team line up remaining unchanged with Simon Fisher as coach of the women’s team. Both teams will continue to be backed by Team Managers and key Sport Science/Sports Medicine practitioners.

The UK based coaching team, consisting of Haj Bhania OBE and Steve Caine, will utilise updated performance analysis software and work with specialist elite performance analysts both in the UK and Tokyo, to inform the ParalympicsGB Teams’ tactical competition strategy in Tokyo.  Investment in technology and working adaptations during the pandemic will further support the enhancement of the Teams’ strategic planning; with video conference meetings, collaborative software and shared performance analysis platforms ensuring that the ParalympicsGB Teams’ progress is not impacted by geographical constraints.

As a GB athlete, Gaz has been a member of the men’s senior squad for over 11 years, winning four European golds and a World Championship title during his career. His accomplished professional playing career has seen Gaz play for top-flight European Clubs, including completing the 2020/21 season with Copa Del Rey winning team BSR Amiab Albacete, as well as being named as MVP twice during the tournament.

As part of the GB Performance Programme, Gaz has competed and trained under Haj Bhania’s considered leadership since 2013 and will undoubtedly also bring his own experience and direction to the Team’s Tokyo performance.

A hugely respected athlete, Gaz was elected into the British Paralympic Association’s Athlete Commission in December 2020, and is a vocal advocate of Paralympic sport. Gaz will be ably supported by two highly experienced co-captains Ian Sagar and Lee Manning, coming together to lead the men’s team throughout the competition.

Commenting on today’s news, British Wheelchair Basketball’s CEO Lisa Pearce said:

“Our first-priority is to ensure the health and wellbeing of our staff team and athletes, as well as the wider Paralympic Community.  I am once again immensely proud of our staff team and athletes, who have seamlessly adopted our COVID-19 continuity plan and transitioned into the new team format.

“I can confirm that Haj is well, but as expected is enormously disappointed to not be supporting the Team from courtside in Tokyo. 

“To see our Team’s arrive in Tokyo is simply a huge achievement.  Preparing for this Paralympic Games has been unlike any other, and we have had to navigate many new and challenging situations under the complex backdrop of COVID-19. We continue to be in awe of the professionalism and empathy with which our athletes and staff team support each other, both courtside and strategically from the UK.”

Gaz Choudhry also added to Lisa’s sentiment:

“It is an honour to be selected to represent your nation, and there is no bigger stage than the Paralympic Games. It is a privilege to have been mentored by a coach of Haj Bhania’s considerable experience and reputation, and to be trusted with the player coach role for the GB Men’s Team. Our preparation programme included the formation of our coaching group and the collaborative process has enabled and prepared me to assume this role.

“This Games has often seemed like a distant dream to all of the athletes who have trained so hard. It has required a huge amount of commitment and sacrifice from each and every player, but also our families and our performance support teams. However, I believe these challenges have only served to fuel our fire and drive our ambition to get on court in Tokyo. I look forward to continuing to be guided and mentored by Haj and the Performance Team as we head to Tokyo and with the support of the athletes and world class support staff here give our best possible performance”

ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Penny Briscoe commented:

“My heart goes out to Haj who I know was deeply committed and keen to continue his fantastic work with the team out in Tokyo. However, thorough and considered planning by British Wheelchair Basketball means that Haj remains a terrific asset to the team, while Gaz Choudhry – an athlete we all respect and admire – will I know adapt seamlessly to his role as player coach.”

Wheelchair Basketball clubs across the UK offering free Open Days this summer

British Wheelchair Basketball clubs across the UK are opening their doors this summer to encourage those inspired by the Paralympic Games to try the sport and visit an Inspire a Generation Club Open Event.

As the Men’s and Women’s teams compete in Tokyo, clubs will be encouraging people within their local communities to come along and get involved in the sport.

The Inspire a Generation Club Open Events will give people a fun and engaging introduction to the sport and are available for all ages and abilities. Wheelchair basketball is a fully inclusive sport where both disabled and non-bodied players can play together.

Clubs from across the four Home Nations will be offering sessions on 28 & 29 August, 4 & 5 September, and 11 & 12 September and providing all of the necessary equipment.

Lisa Pearce, Chief Executive at British Wheelchair Basketball said:

Never has there been a more important time to provide inclusive, fun and informal sporting opportunities, and to embed active lifestyles. All of our elite athletes started at their local club and I hope that by watching them in action in Tokyo, more people will be inspired to try wheelchair basketball for themselves.

“We couldn’t do this without our network of fantastic clubs across the UK who are kindly opening their doors to showcase the sport to new people as part of the Inspire a Generation programme. We cannot wait to welcome players to these sessions and I’m confident many will fall in love with wheelchair basketball!”

Great Britain Women’s Wheelchair Basketball player, Sophie Carrigill, said:

Creating local opportunities for people to try wheelchair basketball is really important to me, particularly since it is such an inclusive sport – anyone can play, irrespective of age, gender and ability. I was inspired to play after London 2012 and I hope that I can inspire others to go to their local club and give my incredible sport a go for themselves. My life is so much better because I discovered wheelchair basketball and I hope that others have the opportunity to experience that too.”

To find your nearest Inspire a Generation Open Event, visit

GB Fanzone unveiled as GB Teams prepare for Tokyo

In just under two weeks the GB wheelchair basketball athletes will be hitting the courts in Tokyo for the 2020 Paralympic Games.  

In what will undoubtedly be an emotional moment for athletes and fans alike – this will mark a welcomed return to international competition for both GB teams and the first time they will have competed since the 2019 European Championships.  

As a sport, we are now simply counting the hours, days and minutes till the first tip for both squads that will signal the start of their respective major competition campaigns.  

The online GB Fanzone ( will provide a platform for everything GB wheelchair basketball during the competition, and will include schedules, game announcements, latest results, match reports, national & local media coverage, social media, etc.  

Teams in the UK and Tokyo will work around the clock to ensure that the site is kept up-to-date so that wheelchair basketball fans can keep in touch with the action, whenever and wherever they might be.  

Those inspired by watching the sport in Tokyo can head along to an Inspire a Generation Club open event held over three weekends in August/September to find out more about the sport (and have a go) or sign up to an Inspire a Generation six-week wheelchair basketball course. Information about both available via  

British Wheelchair Basketball Performance Director, Jayne Ellis took time out of the GB Team’s intensive pre-competition preparation camp to add: 

“As a team we just want to thank all of our GB fans for their unwavering support, cheering and commitment over the last 18 months. We feel the strength of your support and it will drive us forward as we prepare to fly out and compete.  

“Our fan base is like no other, we really are a wheelchair basketball family, and we share the highs and lows of major tournament preparation and competition together. Please keep sending your messages of support, please share with our media team photos (@britwheelbball) of your viewing parties – we know that you are there with us in spirit cheering us on and it means the world to each of our GB athletes.  

“We are delighted to have developed the GB Fanzone – we really want our fans to be a part of our journey over the coming week as we head to Tokyo.” 

Paralympic Games schedule confirmed as countdown to Tokyo 2020 continues

Excitement is continuing to build ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with less than 50 days to go until the Opening Ceremony on 24 August. 

With the 24 athletes selected to represent ParalympicsGB now announced, the much-anticipated game schedule the teams will face in Tokyo has also been released, including the all-important tip-off times for the GB fans watching from home. 

Competition will begin on Day 1 for the GB Women’s team as they get their Paralympic campaign underway on 25 August with their first group game against three-time Paralympic champions, Canada, at 14:45 (JST) / 06:45 (BST). 

The Men’s team will have to wait until Day 2 (26 August), and after the Women’s team have played their second game against hosts Japan (11:15 / 03:15), before they begin their competition against African champions Algeria at 14:45 / 06:45 on 26 August. 

Both teams will face Germany on Day 3 (27 August) at Tokyo’s Musashino Forest Sport Plaza with the Men first on court at 14:45 / 06:45, before the Women tip-off at 20:30 / 12:30. 

A repeat of the 2018 World Championship Men’s final will take place on Saturday 28 August at 17:00 / 09:00 as the GB Men’s team take on the USA, who are the defending Paralympic champions, before, the Women’s team will play their final Group A game against Australia, later that day (20:30 / 12:30). 

The Men’s final two group games take place on Sunday 29 August against Iran (09:00 / 01:00) and the following day against Australia (17:00 / 09:00). 

The full game schedule, including knock-out dates and times, can be viewed here: (*The competition schedule may be subject to change)

Inspire a Generation… 

To coincide with the Paralympics Games, British Wheelchair Basketball are inviting clubs across the UK to host Inspire a Generation Paralympic Legacy Open Events. 

These events are exclusively for British Wheelchair Basketball clubs (UK wide) and are designed to sign-post anyone inspired by the GB Wheelchair Basketball Team’s Tokyo Paralympics Campaign to find their local club and try the sport. 

The events will take place across three weekends (clubs can sign up for one or multiple dates): 28th & 29th August 4th & 5th September 11th & 12th September.  The events will be available UK wide, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

Clubs can now sign-up to host an open event via with open events available for visitor registration from early August. 

Wheelchair Basketball GB squads announced for Tokyo Paralympic Games

Today the ParalympicsGB named the 24 athletes who will represent Great Britain in Wheelchair Basketball at Tokyo 2020, for both the men and women’s teams.

The team announcement saw both squads come together to celebrate the selection announcement at Loughborough University, where the teams have been preparing for the Games within strictly controlled training camp environments.

The GB Wheelchair Basketball Teams are currently ranked number 1 and 2 in the world for the men and women’s teams respectively.

Both team selections feature a number of world-renowned wheelchair basketball players within their rosters as well as emerging stars of the game who will be representing their nation for the first time at a Paralympic Games.

The GB Men’s Squad, captained by two-time Paralympian Barnsley’s Ian Sagar, features eight of the history making 2018 World Championship team including the tournament’s voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) Gregg Warburton. Legend of the sport Terry Bywater’s selection will see him representing Great Britain at his sixth Paralympic Games and Liverpool’s Abdi Jama will make his fourth Paralympic appearance.

Alongside these athletes 2018 World Championship Gold medallists Jim Palmer and James MacSorley and 2017 Junior World Championship Gold Medallists Billy Bridge, Lewis Edwards and Ben Fox who will each be making their Paralympic Games debut.  Copa del Rey 2021 Champions BSR Amiab Albacete teammates and 2018 World Champions Harry Brown, Lee Manning and Gaz Choudhry (MVP of Copa del Rey final) complete the men’s team line up for Tokyo.

The Women’s Team, co-captained by Maddie Thompson and Amy Conroy, sees Watford’s Helen Freeman selected for her fourth Paralympic Games appearance. The GB Women’s Team has experienced a period of unprecedented success following the Rio Paralympics, claiming silver medals at both the 2018 World and 2019 European Championships. Eleven athletes from these history making squads feature in the Tokyo selection announcement.

Established senior squad members Siobhan Fitzpatrick and Kayla Bell will be making their first appearance at a Paralympic Games in Tokyo, they will be joined by Lucy Robinson whose selection will be her senior GB team debut. Tokyo selection marks a second Games for Rio teammates Sophie Carrigill, Charlotte Moore, Joy Haizelden and Robyn Love.  These talented athletes will be joined by Laurie Williams and Jude Hamer for their third Paralympics, both having competed in Rio and London.

The Men’s Team is coached by internationally acclaimed wheelchair basketball performance coach, Haj Bhania OBE, British Wheelchair Basketball’s Head of Coaching and Tactical Development. The Women’s squad coach for the Tokyo Paralympic Games is respected basketball and wheelchair basketball coach Simon Fisher.

The event also marks the launch of British Wheelchair Basketball’s Inspire a Generation Paralympic Legacy Open Events. These events are exclusively for British Wheelchair Basketball clubs (UK wide) and are designed to sign-post anyone inspired by the GB Wheelchair Basketball Team’s Tokyo Paralympics Campaign to find their local club and try the sport.

The events will take place across three weekends (clubs can sign up for one or multiple dates): 28th & 29th August 4th & 5th September 11th & 12th September.  The events will be available UK wide, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Clubs will be able to apply to deliver an event from Friday 2nd July with open events available for visitor registration from early August.

ParalympicGB’s Wheelchair Basketball Team Leader, and British Wheelchair Basketball Performance Director, Jayne Ellis commented on today’s selection announcement:

“Today is simply an incredible day for our sport but most of all for our remarkable athletes. There have been times when we may all have questioned or doubted whether this day would actually arrive, but today’s selection announcement is richly deserved.

“Throughout the last 18 months I have watched in awe as time and time again these dedicated athletes have gone above and beyond, giving their all to this sport, completely focused on their ambition to represent their nation in Tokyo. For some this has been through converting garages into home gyms, and for others this has been sacrificing weeks away from their loved ones and family so that they can attend GB training camps.

“Today’s selection news should also be credited to the selfless loved ones and families of our GB teams, this incredible support network is truly the team behind the team and their unwavering encouragement and support of our athletes should not go unrecognised.”

British Wheelchair Basketball’s Participation Director, Jo Richards added:

“The Paralympics signifies such an incredible moment in time for our sport. People who have never engaged with (or even heard of) wheelchair basketball become captivated by the teams’ journey.

“With Inspire a Generation we hope to offer opportunities for those individuals inspired by our fantastic athletes to register for a IAG Paralympic Legacy Open Event and get involved with their local club or sign up to an IAG community six-week wheelchair basketball course.

“The sport really is as much fun and exhilarating as it looks on court in Tokyo, and each of those athletes started their Paralympic journey within our UK Club network and inspired by the athletes who came before them. Everyone starts somewhere – inspire a generation offers opportunities for everyone to begin a wheelchair basketball journey.”

GB Women’s Team

#4 Charlotte Moore (1.0) Coventry

#5 Sophie Carrigill (1.0) Wakefield

#6 Michela Bell (1.5) Thatcham

#7 Helen Freeman (4.0) Watford

#8 Laurie Williams (2.5) Greater Manchester

#9 Jude Hamer (4.0) Exeter

#10 Amy Conroy (C) (4.0) Norwich

#11 Maddie Thompson (C) (4.0) Hope Valley

#12 Lucy Robinson (4.5) Leicestershire

#13 Siobhan Fitzpatrick (3.0) Coventry

#14 Joy Haizelden (2.5) Southampton

#15 Robyn Love (3.5) Ayr

GB Men’s Team

#4 Gaz Choudhry (4.0) Ealing

#7 Terry Bywater (4.5) Redcar, Middlesbrough 

#9 Harry Brown (2.5) Halifax

#10 Abdi Jama (1.0) Liverpool

#12 Gregg Warburton (2.0) Leigh

#13 Ian Sagar (C) (3.0) Barnsley

#14 Lee Manning (4.5) Peterborough

#15 Ben Fox  (3.5) Swindon

#16 Jim Palmer (1.0) Chelmsford

#17 James MacSorley (2.0) Belfast

#18 Billy Bridge (3.0) Ellesmere Port

#20 Lewis Edwards (3.0) Littlehampton

To find out more about the Inspire a Generation programme, or to become a Partner, visit

Great Britain’s Paralympic Games opponents confirmed for Tokyo 2020 Preliminary Stage

Great Britain’s opponents for the Preliminary Stage of this summer’s Paralympic Games in Tokyo have been confirmed with just over 100 days to go until the GB Men and Women begin their Paralympic campaigns. 

The draw, hosted at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, saw the twelve men’s teams and ten women’s teams drawn into two groups for Tokyo 2020’s round-robin Preliminary Stage. 

The Men’s competition features two groups of six and Great Britain were drawn in Group B where they will face defending champions USA, 2018 World bronze medallists Australia, 2019 European semi-finalists Germany, African champions Algeria and 2018 World semi-finalists Iran. 

There are five teams in each of the two groups in the Women’s competition and the GB Women will play 2019 Parapan American champions Canada, Asia-Oceania runners-up Australia, 2018 World bronze medallists Germany and Paralympic hosts Japan in Group A. 

The top four in each group will advance through to the quarter-finals, followed by the semi-finals and final. 

Great Britain’s Men’s and Women’s teams qualified for the Paralympic Games following their performances at the 2019 IWBF European Championships, where the GB Men were crowned European champions and the GB Women secured an historic silver medal, their highest ever European finish. 

The GB Men have won five Paralympic medals, including silver at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta, while the GB Women recorded their best-ever Paralympic finish at Rio 2016, finishing fourth. 

The Tokyo 2020 draw was presented by broadcaster and British Olympian Jeannette Kwakye with Charlie Bethel, Chair of IWBF’s Competition Commission, conducting the draw along with five-time Paralympian Sir Philip Craven MBE and the Japanese Ambassador to the United Kingdom, HAYASHI Hajime. 

The full draw can be viewed below and on the IWBF website. Fixture dates will be confirmed in due course. 


Group A Group B 
Canada USA 
Republic of Korea Australia 
Spain Great Britain 
Turkey Germany 
Colombia Algeria 
Japan Iran 


Group A Group B 
Canada USA 
Australia China 
Great Britain Netherlands 
Germany Spain 
Japan Algeria 

Simon Fisher appointed Interim GB Coach ahead of re-scheduled Tokyo 2020

British Wheelchair Basketball is pleased to announce the appointment of Simon Fisher as Interim GB Coach to help prepare the GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team for the re-scheduled 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

Fisher, who in his previous role was BWB’s Academy Lead, will work with Head of Coaching and Tactical Development Haj Bhania OBE and GB Assistant Coach Steve Caine as the Women’s team continue their preparations for Tokyo.

First joining British Wheelchair Basketball in 2014, Fisher is an experienced and highly-respected coach, who in his role as Academy Lead has played a key role in supporting the development of athletes in the performance pathway.

Alongside his day-to-day role, Fisher was the GB Men’s Team Manager when they won the World title at the 2018 World Championships, a role he also held at the 2017 and 2019 European Championships, when the Men’s team won silver and gold, respectively.

He was also Assistant Coach when the U25 Women claimed bronze at the 2019 U25 World Championships in Thailand.

A qualified wheelchair basketball and basketball coach, Fisher has a rich basketball pedigree, working with Basketball England’s national teams as Head Coach of England U16s from 2007 to 2011 and then England U17s Coach from 2011 to 2014. During his time with the U16s, Fisher was the first coach to lead an England age group team to promotion to Division A.

Fisher has also been Head Coach of Wales U16s, leading the team to a silver medal in Division C of the European Championships in 2018, and now holds the role of Director of National Teams on Basketball Wales’ Board of Directors.

Fisher joins the coaching team at an exciting time for the Women’s team following their silver medal successes at both the 2018 World Championships and 2019 European Championships, the highest-ever finishes for a GB Women’s team.

Commenting on his appointment, Fisher said:

“It’s a huge honour to be appointed Interim GB Coach and to be a part of the coaching team with Haj Bhania and Steve Caine. They are both fantastic coaches who I have learned a lot from during my time at BWB.

“The Women’s team is now one of the world’s leading teams demonstrated in their World and European silver medal winning performances, so I’m really looking forward to working with the team and helping them be in the best possible position for achieving their medal hopes in Tokyo.”

British Wheelchair Basketball Performance Director, Jayne Ellis added:

“With our preparations stepping-up ahead of Tokyo, we’re delighted to be able to strengthen our coaching team further and appoint Simon as Interim GB Coach. Simon is an experienced coach who is hugely respected within the wheelchair basketball community.

“His dedication and commitment to the sport, especially the development of athletes, has been unquestionable since he first joined British Wheelchair Basketball and we’re really pleased he will be joining our world-leading coaching team and working with the GB Women’s team.”