Our next blogger is Luc Vergoossen from The Netherlands. Luc will be one of our Game Commissioner at Rio 2016, we did a quick Q & A with Luc to get to know him a little better before the Games.
Q: What will you be doing at the Paralympic Games in Rio for IWBF? What does this role involve?
Luc: I will be one of the Game Commissioners in Rio. The main task of a Game Commissioner is to oversee the Table Officials during a specific game and make sure that everything goes according to the FIBA/IWBF rules. Next to that you must be able to assist the referees in case of uncertainties.
Q: How did you get into this role and wheelchair basketball?
Luc: I’ve got involved in wheelchair basket in the the late 1980’s/early 1990’s my basketball club, BV Aalsmeer, they had an able bodied basketball side as well as a wheelchair basketball side.
In 1999, I was asked by Rob Verheuvel, the Head Coach of the Dutch National Men’s team, to become Assistant Coach & Team Manager of his team. I stayed in that position until after the 2002 Gold Cup in Kitakyushu, Japan. In 2003, I took the position of Head Coach of the Dutch National U23 team until 2011. From 2009 until last January, I was National Development Officer Wheelchair Basketball at the Dutch Basketball Federation. From January, I changed into another role within the Federation.
In the meantime, I have also been a FIBA Game Commissioner since 2005, so I bring 11 years of experience in this role to the tournament.
Q: How many Paralympic Games have you been to? In what capacity?
Luc: This will be my third Paralympic Games, however I have always been as part of a National team so this will be my first as an International Technical Official. I was at Sydney 2000 (Assistant Coach/Team Manager Dutch Men’s Wheelchair Basketball Team) and London 2012 (Video Analyst Dutch Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Team).
Q: What is your most memorable tournament?
Luc: The Sydney 2000 Games, they were my first games, the Dutch Men won Silver and some of my greatest friendships started there.
Q: In under a week the Paralympic Games will start in Rio – are you excited about this big event and looking forward to it?
Luc: I am very excited to go to Rio, getting the chance to experience a great sport event in a new role is great!
Q: What do you love most about wheelchair basketball?
Luc: Basketball and wheelchair basketball have been influencing my life since the age of 11. Both games are exciting to watch. The game is fast and exhilarating and nowadays, you really need to be a well-trained athlete in order to compete in this game at the highest level.
Q: What are your expectations for Rio 2016?
Luc: I hope to see a lot of great wheelchair basketball games. I am convinced that the IWBF team and the Rio 2016 LOC will provide a professional environment around the games and the wheelchair basketball tournament in particular.
Q: What are you especially looking forward to in Rio 2016?
Luc: Seeing all my international friends again and to be able to assist in delivering a great and professional Paralympic wheelchair basketball tournament