With support from Disability Sport Wales and British Wheelchair Basketball, Wales Wheelchair Basketball Association concluded its recruitment campaign this weekend for Head Coaches to lead the Wales National 3 x 3 wheelchair basketball teams. These appointments mark the start of the association’s bid for representation at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Caroline Matthews MBE and Lee Coulson BEM have been appointed until 2021 as coaches for the Men’s and Women’s teams respectively.
Caroline, who was awarded an MBE for services to wheelchair basketball in the New Year’s Honours, says of her appointment:
“I’m absolutely delighted to have been appointed as WWBA 3 x 3 Men’s Head Coach. This is an extremely exciting time for Welsh wheelchair basketball as we begin to prepare for Commonwealth Games 2022, and it’s a privilege to be part of that process”
Whilst Lee explains:
“This appointment is an absolute honour. Having coached 3 x 3 basketball in the running game for a number of years, I’m excited to explore the format in wheelchair basketball. The opportunity to do this as Head Coach of the National women’s team, uniting players across Wales, is a privilege”
Wheelchair basketball will enter the Commonwealth Games for the first time at Birmingham 2022 and will be played in a 3 x 3 format. WWBA is keen to develop the 3 x 3 game in Wales, where wheelchair basketball is usually played in teams of 5.
With coaches in post, WWBA is beginning the process of identifying and developing talented athletes in Wales. Lou Englefield, WWBA Chair explains:
“WWBA is a young but ambitious organisation. We appreciate that representation at Commonwealth Games will require qualification, but we want to maximise our chances of achieving that. We are lucky to have some extremely talented players in Wales, including the current captain of the GB men’s squad, Phil Pratt”.
To launch the 3 x 3 Talent Programme, WWBA is holding a 3×3 Wheelchair Basketball Talent Identification and Mini Tournament event on 27thJanuary in Aberystwyth. The event will be open to any players who would like to be considered for the 3 x 3 National Teams.
To participate in the day, players must:
Be at least 14 years of age
Have been born in Wales or have lived in Wales for at least 5 years or have one parent who was born in Wales
WWBA’s hope is that this event will give the 3×3 Head Coaches their first opportunity to identify talented athletes for the squad which will train towards the 2022 Commonwealth Games whilst beginning the development of the new 3 x 3 format within Welsh clubs.
Players can register online here: https://wwba3x3.eventbrite.co.uk/