The nation’s pride “Sasol Amawheelies” jetted off on Sunday evening, 04 June 2017 to this year’s Men’s U23 World Wheelchair Basketball Championship taking place from June 08-16 in Toronto, Ontario Canada - to represent the entire African continent.
The International tournament featuring over 400 athletes, coaches, officials, delegates, and volunteers; 42 games over eight days of competition and World-class athletes representing 12 nations; will showcase the elite skill and athleticism that make wheelchair basketball a thrilling spectator sport and one of the most popular sports for athletes with a disability in the world.
“The qualification tournaments for the U23 World Championships in each zone were extremely competitive, I would like to congratulate all the nations that have qualified,” said IWBF President Ulf Mehrens. “I’m really proud to have representation from all of our zones at the Championships. This is a real showcase for our young talented wheelchair basketball athletes and I am in no doubt we are set for some high quality action. These Championships really exhibit how much junior programs within wheelchair basketball have grown and developed in the past 20 years.”
The South African’s Men’s U23 National Team will join teams from Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran, Italy, Japan, Canada, Turkey, and the United States in the tournament. As the official winners of the 2016 U23 Africa Championship Qualifiers - this young and enthusiastic U23 Men’s Wheelchair Basketball team is looking to improve on the best-ever finish of 11th in the World Championships.
Gerry Smith, WBSA Team Manager says that the Sasol Amawheelies are a positive inspiration to all youth in South Africa and beyond. “This team’s passion and dedication is a true testament that through hard work, dedication and a positive attitude, every dream is possible.”
The Sasol Amawheelies are currently busy preparing for their first game on Thursday, 08 June against Germany U23’s national team. This first game is deemed as one of the toughest for Amawheelies because the German team are the reigning 2013 world champions.
Nozipho Mbatha, Sasol Group Brand Marketing Manager says: “We are confident that Sasol Amawheelies are going into this championship with a great deal of confidence that they will give it their all and prove to the entire continent that they are not only the nation’s pride in South Africa, but an inspiration to all Africans.” Sasol takes exceptional pride in the significant and long-standing role that it has been able to play in partnership with Wheelchair basketball South Africa (WBSA) in raising the profile of sport for people with disabilities and the development of wheelchair basketball in South Africa
Coaching Staff: Head Coach : Allen Mtatase / Manager : Gerhard Smith / Physiotherapist : Riali Roos
The tournament gets underway at 8 a.m (Canadian time) or 2 p.m South African time on Thursday, June 8. South Africa’s first game against Germany will be at 9 p.m (SA time). Preliminary play wraps up on June 12, with the quarter-finals and semifinals set for June 14 and 15, respectively. The bronze and gold medal games will play out on Friday, June 16.
For more information:
Event Website, Facebook, Twitter: #2017wcbasketball @WCBballCanada
Webcasting - All games will be broadcasted live online by Sports Canada TV
Download the 2017 Men’s U23 World Championship Competition Schedule.