Martensville will be hosting the 2018 Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) National Championships from May 4th to 6th at the Martensville Athletic Pavilion (MAP). This event takes place each spring as competitive club teams from across the country compete for the prestigious title of National Champion. This tournament is the ultimate showcase of the inclusive nature of wheelchair basketball as the top male and female players from across Canada, both with and without disabilities, put their skill and athleticism on display as they compete with their club teams.
Since 1987, this domestic tournament has been taking place in various cities throughout Canada and is open to all eligible CWBL teams in the country. “The CWBL National Championship is the premiere national event on the annual domestic wheelchair basketball calendar,” Katie Miyazaki, the High Performance Wheelchair Basketball Coach for Saskatchewan Wheelchair Sports Association, explained while in Calgary training for the upcoming event.
This year, a total of nine teams will be competing across two tiers, with Saskatchewan providing a team to represent both tiers. Other teams will be coming from; Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. “We look forward to seeing the best players in Canada compete for the club championship as this premier national event returns to Saskatchewan for the first time since 2008,” said Wheelchair Basketball Canada Executive Director Wendy Gittens. “We are thrilled to work with the dedicated team at the SWSA and know that they will put on an outstanding event backed by the strong local wheelchair basketball community in Saskatchewan.”
Martensville was chosen as it provided the perfect location for this highly anticipated event. “We needed a venue with access to multiple courts, which are few and far between, and thought that it would be a great opportunity to have an event hosted outside of the bigger centres of Saskatoon and Regina. The Martensville Athletic Pavilion fit all of our needs and we hope to get the community behind this event,” Miyazaki added.
Games will take place on two courts within the MAP, with round robin games for both tiers taking place Friday and Saturday and the medal games being played on Sunday morning. “We are very excited to be able to host an event outside of a major centre in Saskatchewan,” said SWSA Executive Director Andrea Muir. “This will be the first national event held at the Martensville Athletic Pavilion and we are proud that it is the CWBL National Championship.”
In addition to the tournament, the weekend will also include the annual Wheelchair Basketball Canada annual awards banquet. This takes place each year in order to provide recognition to the ever-growing list of remarkable people whose commendable efforts and unfaltering passion for the game are a benefit to the entire wheelchair basketball community. “We offer our sincerest thanks and praise goes to all award winners and Hall of Fame inductees,” said Miyazaki.
With the event fast approaching, organizers are looking for sponsorship to help offset some of the costs associated with hosting the National Championship, as well as volunteers to provide help with things such as; scorekeeping, transporting equipment, and other odds and ends. Those looking to contribute can contact the SWSA office at 306-975-0824 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.