Leading disability charity Path to Success has announced September 25th as the date of its 3rd annual charity Wheelchair Basketball Tournament, which will this year raise money for women in disability sport.
The tournament will take place at the iconic Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park, with funds raised directed to Path to Success’s ‘Path to Tokyo 2020’ campaign. Corporate teams are being invited to donate and take part in the tournament, competing to be crowned Corporate Wheelchair Basketball Champions 2018.
Teams will be coached and joined on court by Paralympians Louise Sugden and Ann Wild OBE, while Channel 4 presenter Jordan Jarrett-Bryan will also coach and compere the event.
Path to Tokyo 2020 launched on International Women’s Day 2018, and offers financial support to women who aspire to represent Great Britain at the Paralympics, but fall outside of central funding. The campaign supports twelve women in four disability sports: Para-Badminton, Para Powerlifting, Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Basketball.
Disability sport is still heavily underfunded in the UK, with a number of athletes forced to balance competing with working shifts and studying, or even dipping into their disability allowance or pension pots just to pay for entry fees to tournaments. That is exactly what happened to 54-year-old Para-Badminton star Mary Wilson, who survived an attack by the Taliban while serving in Afghanistan, competed as the only female captain in the inaugural Invictus Games, but had to use her pension money to pay for tournament entry and travel costs before securing Path to Success’s support.
Disability sport in the UK is at a crucial juncture: participation has fallen by 10% since the London 2012 Paralympics, and this allied with persistent funding issues raises questions about what the future of disability sport in the UK will look like.
Path to Success’s Wheelchair Basketball Tournament is an opportunity for able-bodied people to take part in an exhilarating and challenging sport alongside Paralympians and top UK-based players, and to learn more about the hard-working athletes who encompass the grassroots of disability sport in the UK.
Anita Choudhrie, Founder of Path to Success, said:
‘I am deeply inspired by the skill, determination and positive attitude of all of the Path to Success athlete. Our mission is to secure the legacy of disability sport in the UK and to inspire a new generation of British female Paralympic stars. To do that, we need to shine a spotlight on these athletes and introduce more people to disability sport. I’m really excited to welcome both able-bodied and disabled people alike to the latest edition of our charity tournament, and I’m confident the day will be a great success once again.’
About Path to Tokyo:
Path to Tokyo 2020 launched on International Women’s Day 2018 and supports 12 female athletes across four major disability sports. Para Powerlifters Louise Sugden and Olivia Broome, Para-Badminton’s Mary Wilson, Rachel Choong and Rebecca Bedford, Wheelchair Basketball’s Sophie Patterson and Wheelchair Tennis’s Louise Hunt, Lucy Shuker, Lauren Jones, Jordanne Whiley, Ruby Bishop and Abbie Breakwell.
Funding provided by Path to Success helps athletes with travel costs, tournament entry fees, coaching, physiotherapy and specialised equipment.
About Path to Success:
Inspired by her Grandfather’s philanthropy and her own passion and experience for charity, founder Anita Choudhrie established Path to Success in London in 2005 with a focus on causes that support disability. Most recently Path to Success has supported the London Titans Wheelchair Basketball Club, which has produced over 50 Team Great Britain players, yet receive no central sports funding. To raise funds for the athletes and awareness of Paralympic sports, Path to Success has hosted two fundraising charity Wheelchair Basketball Tournaments at the iconic Copper Box Arena in the Olympic Park. The third edition; Wheelchair Basketball Tournament 2018 will follow this year on Tuesday, September 25th.