DUBAI- Dubai’s reputation as a regional centre for hosting international sporting events will be reinforced when it welcomes 8 international teams to compete in the 6th Fazza International Wheelchair Basketball – IWBF West Asian Championship 2014 being held from 10th-14th May.
This year’s event is more significant than ever as the top 3 teams will win the right to compete in the prestigious 2014 Asian Paralympic Games to be held in October in South Korea following five days of fierce competitive action at the Al Ahli Club in Dubai.
The event is also being held as the IWBF West Asian Championship 2014 and has been organised by the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center and the Dubai Club for the Disabled under the patronage of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.
There will be a total of 170 athletes and officials taking part from eight countries including host nation the UAE, Oman, Kuwait, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The Championships will kick off on 10 May 2014 in the presence of Maureen Orchard, president IWBF and Peter Dae Young Kang, secretary general, IWBF Oceania.
Speaking at a press conference to announce the championships Mr. Thani Juma Berregad, Chairman of the Dubai Club for the Disabled and head of the organising committee for the Fazza Championships for the Disabled said: “We are enormously proud to be hosting this prestigious wheelchair basketball tournament.
“In total we will be hosting nearly 170 players, coaches and officials from the eight participating nations and there is no doubt that these “wheelchair
warriors” will be putting on a fantastic display of high quality sporting achievement.
“It is fantastic that Dubai is once again hosting a sporting event of this magnitude as the Emirate continues to grow its reputation as a global centre of sporting excellence.”
The UAE’s own wheelchair basketball team is looking forward to a highly competitive five day event and is hoping to be one of the three successful teams that will make it to Incheon later this year to represent their country. Over 25 volunteers have already signed up to assist with the logistical aspects of the Games.
Khalid Rashid Al Suwaidi, Public Relations Manager at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center added: “The Fazza Championships for Wheelchair Basketball has now become a well-established part of the sporting calendar and shows how Dubai is playing a key role in ensuring that people with disabilities are given the widest opportunities to compete and participate in such fantastic events.
“We are looking forward to a hugely successful event and would encourage the public to come to the Al Ahli club and witness some outstanding quality basketball as the 8 nations compete for a place in South Korea.”
The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Center and the Dubai Club for the Disabled have ensured the presence of a ‘scouting team’ that will monitor all
aspects of the game and assist in maintaining the rules of the Championship. Additionally, A technical committee will meet on the 8th and 9th of May to discuss IWBF classification and how to successfully incorporate this into the Games.