IWBF have announced Hamburg as the host city for the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships for both men and women in 2018.
The world’s wheelchair basketball elite will meet from the 17th August to 26th August 2018 at the Wilhelmsburger Inselparkarena in Hamburg, Germany. Where 16 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams will compete for the title of World Champions.
During the Paralympic Games in Rio 2016, Hamburg State Councillor for Sport, Christoph Holstein, received the flag of IWBF on behalf of the city as a token of the agreement.
Hamburg’s Senator for Sports, Andy Grote, is very enthusiastic about the decision, he explained: “I am pleased that Hamburg convinced IWBF with its concept of how it would host the international tournament. With this we send out a clear signal for the support of Paralympic sports.
“Organising the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships 2018 enhances the position of Hamburg as an important centre for wheelchair basketball.”
This will be the second time that Hamburg has hosted a major international wheelchair basketball tournament, the last time was the Women’s European Championship in 2003.
IWBF President, Ulf Mehrens, said “Germany and especially Hamburg as host city provides excellent conditions which promises to make the World Championships a great event and a celebration of Paralympic sport.”
A number of other cities include Dubai, Tokyo and Los Angeles showed interested in hosting the major championships.
Hamburg State Councillor for Sport, Christoph Holstein, went on to articulate the benefits that hosting the World Championships will hopefully bring to the city. He said, “It is very important that we learn sports can have many positive effects on society especially in big cities were people are living together very closely. For me it is important that we learn from each other and disability sport really highlights the importance of inclusion and integration throughout all areas of life.
“I hope that hosting a major disability sport event such as the World Championships will encourage the development of disability sport not only in Hamburg and Germany but across the World as well. A World Championships gives us the chance to bring the sport to a new platform to be able to promote it to the whole world.
“I hope it will also leave of lasting legacy of breaking down barriers between disabled and non-disabled people. To drive people to think about life in a way other people do, so they are able to see the world from the view of a disabled person and gain an understanding of their daily requirements.
“Although it might be idealistic, I really think that hosting the World Championships will bring our society together. Inclusion means we belong together, we all maybe different but we live in one world and one society, we have to take care of each other.
“Hamburg, is a harbour city and has been for centuries, ensuring that the people of Hamburg people have always been curious about the wider world. We are interested in other people’s lives and minds so the athletes, officials and supporters who will come to Hamburg can really expect a warm welcome from friendly people who want to get to know them and learn all about the sport. To be able to view the sport and get to know the athletes in real life will be a huge benefit for the inhabitants.
“We are really hoping to capture the feeling from Rio 2016. We need major sporting events like this to bring us all together and create the positive feeling it brings along with it. It has the power to solve bigger problems and gives everyone a chance to escape the reality of the real world. Sport tells us there is a better world!
“We will ensure we work as hard as possible alongside others to make the event a success and reflect the power of sport.”