日本へようこそ / Nihon e yōkoso / Welcome to Japan
Delegates from the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation attended a series of meetings in Tokyo between the 10th – 12th October to review progress towards the Summer Paralympic Games which will take place in the city of Tokyo in 2020.
The party, which comprised of Charlie Bethel, Chairman of the Competitions Commission, who led the site visit, Secretary General, Maureen Orchard and Deputy Secretary General, Norbert Kucera, were hosted by the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee. They were also joined by IWBF President Ulf Mehrens.
As with any Paralympic Games, the task facing the Organising Committee is vast and Tokyo will have a very different feel to the past few Games. With sites across Tokyo hosting an ever-increasing number of sports, the current plan is that the Ariake Arena will be the principal venue for the wheelchair basketball competition. This venue will host some of the preliminary round games followed by all the games from the crossovers onwards including classification and medal matches.
The Ariake Arena is located in the ‘Tokyo Bay Zone’ and is conveniently located adjacent to the International Broadcast Centre, and also only a five-minute drive to the Paralympic Village. Currently the venue is in the early stages of the build and IWBF are in constant dialogue with the Organising Committee to ensure the needs of our athletes are met in terms of access and facilitating the premier team sport at the Paralympic Games.
The proposed second venue, the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, would play host to the preliminary rounds of the competition together with the Ariake Arena. It is located in the ‘Heritage Zone’ for Tokyo 2020 and is estimated to be a thirty-minute journey from the Village. This venue is almost complete and will host next year’s Mitsubishi Electric World Challenge Cup.
Although it is still in the very early stages of discussions and planning with Tokyo 2020, significant progress was made during the visit, which was very efficiently supported by Yurie Miyamoto. Together with Chairman Toshihiko Tamagawa and Vice-President Hiroshi Tsuenmi from the Japanese Wheelchair Basketball Federation, there was an excellent spirit of co-operation and vision to move our sport forward.
In April next year, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee shall appoint their Wheelchair Basketball Sport Manager for the Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.
IWBF are looking forward to a productive three years ahead and a fantastic Paralympic Games as Japan welcomes the world.
As we are fully aware, many of our members have been conducting site visits. We would welcome your thoughts and questions as we move forward to ensure we have a wonderful Games. Please feel free to contact IWBF Competitions Commission Chairman – firstname.lastname@example.org