Canada’s Steve Bach was elected as President of IWBF Americas at the zone congress, which was held yesterday (29th August) in Lima, Peru.

Bach, who already serves as the Vice-President of IWBF World and as President of Wheelchair Basketball Canada, is known for his work in the organisation of the sport both nationally and internationally.

Commenting on his appointment as President to IWBF Americas, Steve Bach said:

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with our member nations to redefine how we organise and promote wheelchair basketball and its development in the Americas.

“I remain committed to engaging our membership in that process, and to working with them to create a strategic path forward, one that respects and recognises the unique challenges of our zone.”

The IWBF Americas Congress, which takes place every four years, took place at the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games, the wheelchair basketball zonal qualification tournament for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

Joining Bach on the council is fellow Canadian, Anne Lachance, who retains her position as the Classification Officer. This will be Anne’s second term in the position and hopes to fulfil her aim of developing classifiers in every country. Argentina’s Jorge Bestilleiro also returns to the council as the Technical Officer, a role he has held for many years.

Two new Executive Council members are Juan Magallanes from Mexico, and Rui Marques from Brazil. Magallanes, who has an extensive background within the sport as a referee, game commissioner and referee supervisor, will take on the role of Competition Officer. Marques, will also bring to the Executive Council a wealth of knowledge as the new Development Officer. He was responsible for the organisation of the wheelchair basketball competition at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, is a former referee, and a current referee supervisor.

As well as deciding on an Executive Council, the delegates of the congress approved the zone’s general regulations that have been amended to reflect and adhere to the new IWBF Statutes. They also received a report from IWBF Secretary General Norbert Kucera on the development and evolvement of IWBF, including their work with IPC and WADA.

At the conclusion of the meeting, the regions of the zone chose their Chairs; the Chairs also serve on the Executive Council as Vice-Presidents.

Elected for South America was Cristina Rosello of Uruguay who served as the IWBF Americas President for the past 4 years; Puerto Rico’s Dilka Benítez became Chair of Central America and the Caribbean region, and steps down as Development Officer to serve in this new role with the zone; the Chair of North America will be Jon Burford of the USA. Burford, a former international referee and current referee supervisor, already volunteers his time as a member of the IWBF World CLME commission as well as on the IWBF Technical Commission.

The first meeting of the new IWBF Americas Executive Council will take place today, Friday 30th August.

IWBF Americas Executive Council pictured left to right: (front row) Dilka Benitez, (back row) Anne Lachance, Juan Magallanes, Jorge Bestilleiro, Steve Bach, Cristina Rosello, Maureen Orchard.