A charity Wheelchair Basketball Tournament held at the Olympic Park has raised over £20,000 to support women in disability sport, with further funds expected to be raised over the next month.
The tournament took place at the iconic Copper Box Arena and was organised by leading disability charity Path to Success. More than 100 people attended the tournament, as ten corporate teams took to the court to battle for the title of ‘Corporate Wheelchair Basketball Champion’.
Teams were coached by prominent ex-Paralympians including Louise Sugden, Matt Sealy and Tyler Saunders, while Channel 4 reporter and Path to Success Patron Jordan Jarrett Bryan compered the event. Captain Helen Freeman and Siobhan Fitzpatrick, stars of the Women’s GB Team who recently won silver medals at the World Championships, were also in attendance.
Meg Hillier, MP for Hackney South and Shoreditch, was in attendance to speak with the athletes, Anita Choudhrie, and learn more about disability sport.
Funds raised by the tournament will support Path to Success’ ‘Path to Tokyo 2020’ campaign, which launched on International Women’s Day in 2018. The campaign offers financial support to women who aspire to represent Great Britain at the Paralympics across four major disability sports: Para-Badminton, Para Powerlifting, Wheelchair Tennis and Wheelchair Basketball.
Some disability sports are still heavily underfunded in the UK forcing athletes to dip into their disability allowance or savings to pay for coaching, physiotherapy and tournament expenses.
Anita Choudhrie, Founder of Path to Success, said:
‘The Path to Success Wheelchair Basketball Tournament is a unique opportunity for able-bodied people to take part in an exhilarating and challenging sport, and to learn from athletes who have reached the pinnacle of their sport. The funds raised will make a huge difference for several female athletes being able to reach the Paralympics, while the exposure in the media is crucial in raising the profile of disability sport. We are so proud at how this event has grown over recent years, and I hope to see even more teams sign up next year.’
Path to Success Patron Jordan Jarrett-Bryan was presented with the Admiration Award. Every two years the Award is presented to an individual who has made a demonstrable charitable impact in their life through dedication, professionalism and integrity.
Corporate Sponsors of the Wheelchair Basketball Tournament include:
Arc Management, Sequoia London, bhlive, Amira Foods, Yusuf and Farida Hamied Charitable Foundation, The Mayfair London, Sutaka, Eastern Eye, Arora Group, Asian Media Marketing Group, 4TheLoveOfSport, Pulsin, Naked, Trek, GLL, Copper Box Arena, Able Magazine, AllinLondon.co.uk, Shanti Hospitality, C&C Alpha Group, Sage Housing, Heathrow HAND, Molinare, Club Grace Belgravia, The PHA Group.
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 players Mary Wilson, Rachel Choong and Rebecca Bedford, Wheelchair Basketball player Sophie Patterson and Wheelchair Tennis players 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.