Two-time German Paralympian Annegrit Brießmann is one of the four new additions to the IWBF Players’ Commission. Brießmann joins the Commission as the female representative for the European Zone and she explained what drove her to stand for election:
“It is of great importance to hear the players’ voice represented within the international decisions of the IWBF and IPC. Players often have a different point of view as they judge from a team’s perspective which is paramount to basketball. It is exactly this perspective that I like to bring with my colleagues into the Commission.
“I feel honoured and proud to be part in the IWBF Players’ Commission.”
49-year-old Brießmann was part of the German women’s wheelchair basketball team who won gold at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and silver at Rio 2016, as well as winning silver at the World Championships in 2014. With her impressive medal collection and successful para-sport career she draws on plenty of experience.
“Rules and regulations have to be made with, not for the players. Decision-making processes have to take into account all stakeholders including the players. This will represent true fairness and the spirit of a true sporting character.”
It was not until 2005 that Brießmann was first introduced to wheelchair basketball as part of her rehab following a skiing accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury and has felt the impact the sport can have. She touched on the intrinsic values within wheelchair basketball of breaking barriers and inclusion as she added:
“Wheelchair Basketball has the potential to put inclusion into practice as the game brings people from all walks of life together, with or without disabilities. In no other sport but wheelchair basketball equality is not a vision but a life experience. I hope that this experience can be transformed into other sports and the society as a whole.”
Eight players will make up the new IWBF Players’ Commission, established to give international wheelchair basketball players a platform and a common voice in the governance of global wheelchair basketball. Paralympians Annegrit Brießmann (Germany), Hiroaki Kozai (Japan), and John Boie (USA), and 3X3 International Michelle Moganedi (South Africa) will join the original four players who were part of the IWBF Athlete Steering Committee – Ella Sabljak (Australia), Terry Bywater (Great Britain), Alhassan Sedky (Egypt), and Erica Gavel (Canada).