Announced today, British Wheelchair Basketball’s strategy delivers the blue print for a far-reaching fundamental transformation of the sport and its wider public perception as a professional sport.
The Strategy’s bold targets will position the inclusive sport (open to both disabled and non-disabled participants) alongside more prevalent British team sports, through the growth of participation opportunities and demonstrably increasing the visibility of wheelchair basketball across the media.
Shaped by the sports’ participants, following an extensive consultation process, the five-year Strategy outlines a collective ambition to realise a progressive future for British Wheelchair Basketball under the areas of participation, competition, GB teams and National Governing Body (NGB).
- Double Participation – Dramatic participation growth, with a current potential of up to 70,000 participants, will fundamentally support the development of the sport including building the schools and universities network, creating new recreational opportunities to play the sport, establishing a strong GB player pathway, generating thriving competitive leagues, nurturing a sustainable workforce and creating a successful national club and community partnership delivery network.
- World Class Performance Programme – Core to the ambitious performance strategic targets is the formation of a GB Academy to ensure continued international medal success, building on the GB team’s current World Championship successes. The Academy will clearly define the development pathway for players with GB potential by effectively creating an incubation hub to develop players to feed into selected senior and junior GB squads.
- Professional Domestic League – Critical to the success of the whole strategy is the development of a UK Professional Domestic League which will attract and retain the world’s best wheelchair basketball athlete talent. Alongside the professional league will be the delivery of more high quality, competitive playing opportunities including the formation of local leagues to give communities across the UK the opportunity to play the sport.
- World Leading NGB – Realised through the digitalisation of the sport, the delivery of regular high-quality broadcast and spectator opportunities, and the ability to welcome new commercial investors to join the sport’s impressive journey.
Delighted to be making today’s Strategy announcement, British Wheelchair Basketball’s Chair, Professor Philip Wilson, commented:
“The opportunities for this sport both domestically and internationally are impressive. British Wheelchair Basketball has a compelling competitive UK league which is continuously drawing new audiences to the sport, both spectators and participants.
“Our four strategic objectives have been borne from actively listening to our participants and defining how they want to see the sport evolve and grow. It will be an exciting journey for British Wheelchair Basketball as the sport breaks new ground and we proudly establish the United Kingdom as the premier nation world-wide for wheelchair basketball.”
Responsible for the successful delivery of the new strategy is British Wheelchair Basketball’s CEO Lisa Pearce, who added:
“The announcement of British Wheelchair Basketball’s five-year Strategy sets-out an extremely positive shared future vision for the sport. This members’ strategy brings to life the participants’ vision for the future of the game and their ambitions for growth.
“We know our sport plays a critical role in our participants’ social and physical development with 70% of members being inactive before playing our sport. We also know that 78% of our participants have reported a positive impact on their mental health and personal development.
“I have no doubt that the delivery of this Strategy will ultimately benefit all of society with more lives being positively influenced through their interaction with this incredible sport.”
The 2019-2024 Strategy is available online via British Wheelchair Basketball’s website here.