In just a few weeks the fourth U23 African World Championship Qualifier will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The competition starts on 5th December and ends on the 12th December 2016. There are four teams who will be participating: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Algeria and Nigeria. In total they will play 10 games. The Wheelchair Basketball South Africa Federation will host the tournament in conjunction with IWBF Africa.

The tournament is extremely important for the young players within the Africa zone as they do not have many zonal competitions where the young players have the opportunity to play against other countries to develop their skills for the world stage.

Shawn Moorgas, Secretary General IWBF Africa said “It provides a much needed opportunity for development as being able to play on the world stage allows countries to put funds aside to support the development. I’m expecting a good competition between Nigeria and Zimbabwe because they both are still developing.”

Algeria and South Africa already have development programmes where some of the young players are playing in overseas leagues. Therefore, great and exciting competitions between these two can be expected.

To prepare the tournament there has been a special challenge this year, says Shawn Moorgas. Currently they are meeting major challenges due to the student protests that strike South Africa.

He explained “We were meant to host the tournament in Durban as it would serve as a testing ground for the Common Wealth Games, but we have had to move the games now to Johannesburg and that has taken some major reshuffling and cost implications.”

Funding has always been an extremely demanding task for some countries and the LOC and IWBF Africa do often have to step into ensure that the tournament runs. On the plus side they will be piloting the 3 on 3 which has been sponsored and is in preparation for Commonwealth Games 2018.

There is likely to be some coverage from the local TV stations as well as Supersport (pay TV) which is a sponsor of South Africa.

The referees are all required to arrive in South Africa on the 3rd December 2016 to attend the IWBF Technical Workshop ahead of the tournament.