As 2016 comes to a close and we look forward to 2017, IWBF President Ulf Mehrens, IWBF Secretary General Maureen Orchard & FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann would like to share these New Year messages with you.

Download the IWBF President’s New Year Message

Download the FIBA Secretary General Patrick Baumann special season greetings message

 With seasonal greetings and the best wishes for a successful 2017 from all at IWBF.

Please note the IWBF Office will be closed between the 22nd December 2016 until 9th January 2017.

Dear friends of wheelchair basketball,

An exciting and eventful year is drawing to a close, and with pride and gratitude we look back at the fantastic Paralympic Games in Rio, where our sport was the best-visited discipline with over 440,000 tickets sold. However, Rio will not remain the only milestone in IWBF’s new era of development!

In this year of transitions, we have been working intensively on the structural and organisational realignment of our federation. While continuing our efforts to follow our new strategic direction, where we hope to successfully take advantage of new opportunities and meet the challenges ahead of us.

Following an intensive analysis and audit of our communication channels, we were able to establish a new department, appointed to provide our media channels such as facebook, twitter, e-news and fiba daily with the latest news and information. In this context, it would be amiss not to mention our new IWBF website, which provided excellent up-to-date and comprehensive online reports during the Paralympic Games, and is an excellent example and important milestone along our new communication path.

Over the past year, and primarily through the commitment of our NOWB’s, we were fortunate to increase the professional resources for IWBF, with the result being that there are two full-time and two part-time workers who support us from now on. It has allowed us to realise our ambition of a new operations department that supports and acts independently under the direction and supervision of the Secretary General. The objective of this development is to ease the Commission’s valuable workload in the administrative area and to ensure their actions are innovative and future-oriented.

As a significant groundwork for future projects, the mutual signing of a letter of intent between ICRC and IWBF deepens our recently established partnership and leaves us encouraged that we will be able to build a cooperation just as strong with the United Nations. With these agreements, the integration and expansion of wheelchair basketball shall reach new quality and intensity levels pursuing our vision to broadcast the game, engage new audiences and create sustainable opportunities to practice wheelchair basketball worldwide.

Our close relationship with our long-standing partner FIBA experienced a significant intensification this year. Not only has the IWBF headquarters found a new home at FIBA’s house of basketball in Mies, the enhanced cooperation between FIBA and IWBF also lays the foundation for our vision of an inclusive basketball world, which we ambitiously work for through joint projects and initiatives.

With our vision in mind, in 2017 we must move to meaningful action. As we begin a new year, we do so with confidence. Yet again, it will be filled with excellent wheelchair basketball events and with great pleasure we can look forward to the upcoming qualification tournaments for the U23 Men World Championships in Toronto, Canada, the zonal qualification tournaments for the Men & Women’s World Championships in Hamburg 2018, and the numerous international competitions of our zones and NOWB’s.

With all of our excitement about our achievements in the past, we should keep in mind to follow our current path together. Foremost, we must continue to strengthen and deepen our partnerships, expand our base of supporters and cherish the all-consuming commitment of every national federation.

As we celebrate the coming of Christmas and the New Year, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your support and wish you and your families all the best for the coming year 2017!

Ulf Mehrens, IWBF President &  Maureen Orchard, IWBF Secretary General