CBBC Basquetebol em Cadeira de Rodas (CBBC), the National Organisation governing wheelchair basketball in Brazil, have elected a new Board of Directors.

The new board of directors were elected on the 30th January, with massive support from wheelchair basketball players and clubs across Brazil. They will be responsible for the development of wheelchair basketball across the country for the next 4 years.

The board of directors is composed of four former wheelchair basketball players: Mario Belo as President, Silvio Riberio as Vice President, Alexandre Rodrigues as 1st Treasurer, and Will Oliveria as 2nd Treasurer.

Belo, who at 43 years old becomes the youngest president the association has ever had, has been playing the game since 1996 and played for a number of clubs throughout Brazil. The role follows him being elected onto the CBBC Consultative Council, where he had been the representative for male athletes in the country. Off the court, Belo also has strong involvement in actions for the rights of people with disabilities, including being a member of People with Disabilities Council of the city of Sao Gonçalo (Rio de Janeiro) and sees wheelchair basketball as an important tool for social inclusion.

Already working to promote the game of wheelchair basketball in Brazil, Belo was responsible for broadcasting live official games via a dedicated Facebook page, @BCRBrasil, which was followed by more than 3,000 people in Brazil.

Due to this initiative, he was able to travel to many places and discuss with Brazilian players and club representatives about a new path for wheelchair basketball. His aims are: to build a strategy to increase the number of players (especially children, youth, and female players) participating in Brazil; a better use of the financial government resources CBBC receives allowing for new competitions in areas such as under 23, under 21, and 3×3; and a new structure for the national teams (which is to include a long-term plan involving sports science and a team of professionals to achieve the goals, instead of the current amateur structure) with the aim to qualify the national teams for the Paris 2024 Paralympic Games.

The Board will underpin all of this with an evaluation to precisely quantify the current number of people involved within the community, which they believe is crucial to implement the strategic plan for more opportunities of practice for those who want to be involved, no matter the reason (competition, recreation, or rehabilitation). They also believe that communication and marketing initiatives, as well as a smarter use of the financial resources provided by the Brazilian federal government are key elements for the development of the technical area and consequently putting wheelchair basketball in the country at a higher perspective of evolution.

Text and Image courtesy of CBBC