Undoubtedly the ultimate para sport, wheelchair basketball delivers as both a team sport and an incredible spectator experience. Fast and furious, with speed and skill delivered in abundance by the rising stars of junior wheelchair basketball.
This sport gripped the nation at the Paralympics and wheelchair basketball is a firm favourite in the School Games roster; it offers spectators the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the sports future Paralympic elite.
Now one of the leading blue-ribbon Paralympic sports and played competitively world-wide, its classification systems sees Wheelchair Basketball embrace a range of disabilities whilst also welcoming non-disabled players in domestic competitions; the UK’s wheelchair basketball community continues to grow both on and off the court.
Wheelchair Basketball has been included at the Summer Paralympics since the inaugural Games in Rome in 1960. Paralympics GB have enjoyed plenty of success at the event with the men winning eight medals – three silver and five bronze. In fact, the men have won bronze at three of the last four Paralympics, only missing out, ironically, in London in 2012.
The Wheelchair Basketball World Championships have been held since 1973 and currently take place every four years.
Did You Know?
- Wheelchair Basketball became increasingly popular after World War II, as many injured veterans took up the sport as part of a rehabilitation program. It has continued to be a popular sport for even more athletes who use wheelchairs and even those who do not need wheelchairs.
- At the Rio 2016 Paralympics, the average age of the Women’s Team GB Squad was just 22, with Katie Morrow, Northern Ireland School Games alumni as the youngest female player at just 16 years old.
- Basketball wheelchairs are designed for greater stability, with lower seats and wheels that are angled outward, making it more difficult for the chair to be tipped over. Chairs may also be designed differently depending on the player's position.