(Calgary, Alta.) All of the fast-paced, hard-hitting action of the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) Women’s Division heads to Calgary this spring when the top women’s club teams in the country takeover Mount Royal University for National Championship April 17-19, 2015.
Teams will compete for the national title at the tournament that will be co-hosted by local club teams the Calgary Rocky Mountain Rollers and Calgary Grizzlies, along with Wheelchair Basketball Canada.
The Rollers in particular are amongst the CWBL’s most decorated women’s teams having reached the podium in 12 of the last 15 tournaments, including a run of seven consecutive finals appearances from 1999-2005. They last won the tournament in 2003 and will be looking to add to their legacy of success following a rare fourth place finish at last year’s event.
“2015, the Year of Sport in Canada, is setting up to be an exceptional year for all of us involved in wheelchair basketball here in Canada. That is why we are absolutely thrilled about the opportunity to work with the Rollers and the Grizzlies to bring the CWBL Women’s National Championship to Calgary this year. Along with all of the fun and excitement of hosting some of our countries finest female athletes comes the sheer athleticism and awe-inspiring talent that will be on display,” said Wheelchair Basketball Canada Executive Director Wendy Gittens.
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“The Calgary Rollers and Grizzlies are excited to bring a national event back to Calgary. We have not hosted since 1999 and both the skill of the players, and the game itself has vastly improved since then. We are hoping to highlight our National Team players and build on the success of our Women’s World Championship win in Toronto last summer. This National championship will also provide a taste of the competition that will be occurring in Toronto this year at the Parapan American Games, while giving our local grassroots players exposure to this top level of competition,” said local organizer and three-time Paralympian Lori Radke.
“The Calgary Rollers took home gold on their home court in 1999 and we are looking to be in that gold medal final game on Sunday, April 19th again this year,” added Radke.
While they are involved in the organization of the tournament, the Grizzlies play in the open division of the CWBL and are not eligible to compete in this women’s only tournament.
About the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League
The Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) was founded in 1986 and has two primary divisions: the Open division and the Women’s division. The league features wheelchair basketball club teams from across Canada and culminates each season with a national championship for both the Open and Women’s divisions.
The league is fully integrated as both divisions welcome athletes with a disability as well as able-bodied athletes to play in the spirit of competition. It often features some of the country’s best wheelchair basketball players, including past, present and future members of Team Canada.
About Wheelchair Basketball Canada
Wheelchair Basketball Canada is the national sports governing body responsible for the organization of the sport in Canada. It is a non-profit, charitable organization that is committed to excellence in the development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and services for all Canadians from grassroots to high performance. Wheelchair basketball is a fast-paced, hard-hitting, competitive sport in which Canada is held in high esteem around the world for winning a combined six gold, one silver, and one bronze medal in the last six Paralympic Games.