Future Paralympians To Compete In Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

Future Paralympians To Compete In Junior Wheelchair Basketball Tournament

March 27, 2002 - BC will get the chance to watch future Paralympians this weekend as the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society (BCWBS) hosts the 2002 Canadian Junior and Mini Basket Wheelchair Basketball Finals. The Finals will be held at the Pinetree Community Centre in Coquitlam from March 29th to March 31st, 2002 (Friday to Sunday).

Alison Gittins (Variety Village, ON) hopes to downhill ski in Torino, Italy in 2006 and Shayne Smith (Variety Village, ON) plans on playing on the Sledge Hockey team. Vinh Nguyen (Vancouver) and Bo Hedges (Prince George) were both members of the 2001 and 1997 Junior Men's Canadian team, which won gold at both Junior Wheelchair Basketball Championships. They hope to compete in Athens in 2004.

The Fleur de Lys of Quebec is an all-star team with final selections held in February 2002. They were the National Champions in 1998, silver medallists in 1999 at the Canada Games in Cornerbrook, Nfld. And silver medallists at the 1999, 2000 and 2001 Junior National championships.

Team Manitoba has had back to back bronze medals at the last two Junior National Championships and range in age from 14 to 22 years old. Coach Bill Johnson was the assistant coach/manager at the recent Junior Men's World Cup.

Lisa Franks heads up Team Saskatchewan. She won four gold medals and one silver medal in five events in athletics at the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games.

Paralympian, Marni Abbott (Vancouver) arguably one of the top wheelchair basketball players in the world will coach the BC team.

"This is the first step in the long journey of national and international competitions for some of these athletes," said Carrie Linegar, Managing Director of the BC Wheelchair Basketball Society. "These are our next generation of Paralympians."

Hosting the Nationals is a first for BC. This is the 9th Annual Junior Championships and only the 2nd time the Finals have occurred west of Ontario since its inception.

For more information, contact

Carrie Linegar at 604.737.3138 or via email at bcwbs@telus.net.

BC Junior Team 10ft.

  • Sheldon Jarvis, Prince George
  • Dallas Sirois, Prince George
  • Dakotha Sirois, Prince George
  • Bo Hedges, Prince George
  • Cory Gibson, Quesnel
  • Curtis Brownmiller, Quesnel
  • Ryan Chisolm, Victoria
  • Nick Konishi, Richmond
  • Vinh Nguyen, Vancouver
  • Bruce Reding, Langley
  • Chris McGladdery, Abottsford
  • Chad Williams, Port Coquitlam
  • Coaches
    Marni Abbott, Vancouver
    Pat Harris, Prince George

Mini-Basket Division 8ft.

BC Team #1

  • Alicia Ratchford, Tsawwassen
  • Avril Harris, Prince George
  • Matthew Ficocelli, Kelowna
  • Gary Jaswal, Vancouver
  • Peter Won, North Vancouver
  • Adam Bishop, Shawnigan Lake
  • Mark Suanders, Lantzville
  • Cameron Crosby, Ladner
  • Anthony Crosby, Ladner
  • Coaches
    Harry Ratchford, Tswwassen
    Ryan Thompson, Langley

BC Team #2

  • Blaire Knowles, Richmond
  • Cameron Knowles, Richmond
  • Coti Koski, Coquitlam
  • Nicole Pfeifer, Surrey
  • Deion Green, Burnaby
  • Sunera Samarkoon, Burnaby
  • John Paul Perron, Mission
  • Oz Havusha, Vancouver
  • Prit Paul Gill, Surrey
  • Coach
    Ross MacDonald, Vancouver