Representatives from International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) were welcomed to Ottawa last week by Wheelchair Basketball Canada, as part of Canada’s bid to host the 2022 Wheelchair Basketball World Championships in the nation’s capital.

IWBF’s Competition Commission Chairman, Charlie Bethel, and IWBF Americas Competition Officer, Juan Magallanes, were in Ottawa for two days (18th and 19th November) to conduct site visits of all competition, practice, and hotel venues in order to assess Ottawa’s bid as the ideal host destination for the internationally coveted event.

Following the site visit, Charlie Bethel, said:

“On behalf of IWBF I would like to offer huge thanks to Wheelchair Basketball Canada for an informative few days in Ottawa. Ottawa certainly offers IWBF an exciting opportunity to showcase wheelchair basketball and strengthen the growth of our sport and its events.

“We now look forward to visiting the next potential host city and meeting with their bid team next week. The deliberation and decision on the successful bid will be made by the IWBF Executive Committee at its next meeting in Thailand later this year.”

President of Wheelchair Basketball Canada and the Bid Chair of the Ottawa 2022 bid committee, Steve Bach, said:

“Canada is beyond ready to host the greatest world wheelchair basketball championships of all-time. Our vision is to host a transformational event that moves people to feel, think and act differently towards sport and people with disabilities.

“Backed by that vision, we will deliver an unparalleled and emotionally-charged experience for all, one that transcends sport by empowering positive social change as a champion of inclusion and drives the evolution of the game in Canada and around the world.”

The IWBF representatives were also guests of honour at a reception hosted by Senator Chantal Petitclerc, the Ottawa 2022 Honorary Bid Chair, which was attended by prominent event partners and stakeholders. Petitclerc said:

“Canada is a leading sporting nation that is safe, welcoming and inclusive with an impressive record of sport hosting expertise and world-class volunteerism. As one of Canada’s most decorated Paralympians, I know Canada will deliver the very best athlete-centred event that contributes to the growth of the game and to a more inclusive world as part of the thriving Paralympic Movement.”

If Canada’s bid is successful, the IWBF Wheelchair Basketball World Championships would take place at the TD Place Arena and Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park in the late summer of 2022.

Wendy Gittens, Executive Director of Wheelchair Basketball Canada, said:

“We are fully committed to collaborating with IWBF to increase the profile of the sport in Canada and around the world. Together with the support of our key partners at the Government of Canada, Government of Ontario, and City of Ottawa, and other committed partners, including the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG), University of Ottawa, Carleton University, the Westin Ottawa, and Lord Elgin Hotel, we will raise the bar and host a world-class wheelchair basketball event that exceeds anything that has been held to date anywhere in the world.”

IWBF will announce the host city in 2020.

Photo credit: Matthew Murnaghan/Wheelchair Basketball Canada