The Story of the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships……..in Photos

I have been meaning to write this for some time now but life gets in the way.  Earlier this year I was in Worcester for the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.  Some people might of thought what another tournament Rebecca?

Well this wasn’t just any tournament, it was my chance to combine the two things I love, crafting and basketball.  Also it was the qualifying tournament for European nations to go to Rio in 2016.  So what do I go and do, suggest another creative project to do alongside my officiating duties.

Well, I am so glad I did.  I contacted some other photographers and wanted to work alongside other people who produce some fantastic photography.  Things didn’t go to plan but you can’t foresee this happening.

I wanted to capture the story of the championships and the following people were kind enough to be part of my story.

The championships had a fan zone, giving people the opportunity to try wheelchair basketball, watch the games, learn to graffiti, get more information about sporting wheelchairs and learn more the University of Worcester.

Graffitiartist.com was in the fan zone throughout the championships not just in person but he sprayed a mural and a number of logos on the walls and some of these were captured in time-lapse videos and you can watch one here.

Malcolm is the chairman of British Wheelchair Basketball, he is extremely approachable and a good bass player.  He is so passionate about wheelchair basketball it radiates from him.

Matt is a friend and fellow table official, he is a team player and is always looking out for people.

Lee was the local engagement officer for the championships.  Leading up to and during the championships I kept bothering Lee with my creative ideas.  Thanks for listening.

Maurice was one of the first people I spoke to at championships.  He had a smile that said ‘let me ask if I could take his photo’, he said yes.

Alex and Steve like all the staff and volunteers put in some serious hours, but they were always smiling.

 

Carolyn has such a commitment to Wheelchair Basketball, she covers some serious miles to get to tournaments and games.  Planes, trains and automobiles comes to mind when I think about the travelling she does and I really admire this commitment.

Joe has a level of knowledge about the game of Wheelchair Basketball that made him an ideal commentator.  His commentary was great to listen to on the online feeds.

Mick is the Head of Institute of Sport & Exercise Science at the University of Worcester.  I have come across Mick many times and he has always been approachable and enthused about Wheelchair Basketball.

Andy is part of Sportserve who provide flooring, scoring equipment and everything in between to make a basketball game happen.  Yet again I took an opportunity to ask Andy to be part of my story and he said yes.  Andy, Will and their team were fantastic in everything they did to make the courts ready and you can see this on another time lapse video here.

Vicky is another kind and caring table official that I have the pleasure of working with.  Thank you for the pen and I am using at my games this season.

Miles is the GB Women’s Head Coach.  He was very accommodating by letting me take his photo at a tournamnet that was so meaningful for him and his team.  They won Bronze again and qualified for the Rio Paralympics, congratulations to you all.

Sam volunteered in the fan zone for the majority of the time.  He was another volunteer who put in some serious hours over championships.  He was friendly, confident and got people engaged whilst in the fan zone.

Ian, Saskia and Gabe are great officials to work with.  It was my pleasure to take this photo, see you at a game sometime.

Leive, is one of most amazing volunteers I have ever met.  She always wants to do her best when she volunteers.  I hope you make it to Rio.

This lady is a Community Support officer for the University of Worcester, I met her on the first day of the championships.  She had friendly vibe and said yes to having her photo taken but I can’t remember her name.

Javier, Linas (Leen-as) and Sasa were officials I have never worked with before.  The thing I love so much about wheelchair basketball is you get to meet so many nice people from around the world.  All photos have wording and I couldn’t fit on everything Sasa and the guys said to me, sorry.

Rob and Dan are from Worcester and have developed into good table officials.  They are always pleasant to be around, take on feedback enjoy being involved with wheelchair basketball in Worcester.  Keep thriving and being who you are.

Allan was a commissioner at the championships, he always put me at ease working on the games.  I look forward to seeing at another tournament.  Thank you.

The morning I took this photo of Ian and Calvin, they were busy in the Fan zone.  Calvin was coaching some fans how to play wheelchair basketball.  Ian was drawing pictures with a young child who didn’t want to get into a chair.  Being able to involve all members a family was great to see in the fan zone as this meant the family could stay longer and learn more about wheelchair basketball.

Toine is the team manager for the Dutch women’s team.  Another friendly face in the sport of wheelchair basketball.  The team managers for all teams worked so hard looking after players and coaches, I really commend you.

When I finally got Jay to stay still long enough to take this picture, he was tired and really busy.  He was also losing his voice.  He and all the staff kept so upbeat even after the mega days they had put in.

Wow!!! Jeff loves Wheelchair Basketball so much he flew from Chicago to volunteer.  It blows my mind to see how far people will travel in order to volunteer for something they love.

Ade, Ian & Abdi were grabbing a drink when I asked them to take this picture.  The timing couldn’t of been more perfect, they had just won and made it into the finals.  They won the finals and qualified for Rio.
This series of photos was first shown at the closing banquet of the championships.  There was a pianist playing whilst the photos were on big screens.  Hence the choice of music, this was added afterwards and fitted perfectly.  When people saw their friends and colleagues they cheered.  I can’t say how proud I felt to see how well my story in photos was received.

The following quote resonated with me whilst making gifts for the athletes “By doing what you love, you inspire and awaken the hearts of others.”  So I included it in my story, I love making things and if I can inspire others to get get involved in crafts or sport I will be happy.  I would like to thank from the bottom of my heart every person who gave some of their free time to make gifts, shared my blog posts and tweets.

 
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2 Replies to “The Story of the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships……..in Photos”

  1. I really like the way you let the pictures tell the story here, such an inspirational bunch of people. And it shows you don't have to change the whole world, just make it a bit better when you can 🙂

    Like

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