Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team heads to China as preparations ramp up for Beijing Paralympic Games



    OTTAWA, Jan. 16 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian national women's basketball
team will be heading to China for the Good Luck Beijing 2008 International
Invitational Tournament, running January 20-25, as it steps up its preparation
for this year's Paralympic Games.
    The tournament will be held at the recently completed National Indoor
Stadium, where the 2008 Paralympic Games wheelchair action will take place.
    "Playing at the competition venue will really help in our preparation for
the Paralympics. Also, just experiencing the cultural and social aspects of
playing in China will be an advantage for our team," said Tim Frick, coach of
Canada's women's team.
    Canada along with China, Germany and Japan will compete in the women's
division of the tournament.
    The Canadian women's wheelchair basketball team has already qualified for
the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games with its second place finish in August 2007
at the Parapanamerican Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In Rio, Canada fell
50-44 to the United States in the finals.
    Canada is the defending world champion, and won bronze at the Athens 2004
Paralympic Games and gold at the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games.
    "Participating in the tournament will be an invaluable experience as the
Canadian women's team strives toward earning another medal at the Paralympic
Summer Games," said Debbie Low, the Canadian Paralympic Committee's 2008
Beijing Games Chef de Mission. "Our elite-level athletes are bound to inspire
and awe us at the upcoming Paralympic games - the premiere multi-sport
competition for people with a physical disability."
    The Canadian national men's team will also be competing at the Good Luck
Beijing International Invitational Tournament. The teams in the men's division
are Canada, Australia, China and the Netherlands.
    After the Beijing tournament, the women's team will hold a training camp
in Vancouver at Douglas College in New Westminster, BC and at Byrne Creek
Secondary School in Burnaby, BC from January 28 to February 10, 2008.
    "The chance to do some centralized training in Vancouver afterwards will
provide us with the opportunity to work on systems," stated Frick. "With the
support of Pacific Sport, we'll be able to analyze our needs and then work on
improving individually and as a team."
    The Beijing Paralympic Summer Games run from September 6-17, 2008 in
China.

    Canadian women's team roster

    Players
    Chantal Benoit (Beloeil, QC/Mont-Saint-Hilaire, QC)
    MJ Bourdrealt (Prince George, BC/Prince George, BC)
    Jessica Des Mazes (Kamloops, BC/Burnaby, BC)
    Lisa Franks (Moose Jaw, SK/Saskatoon, SK)
    Jennifer Krempien (St. Albert, AB/Richmond, BC)
    Kendra Ohama (Brooks, AB/Calgary, AB)
    Cindy Ouellet (Rivière-du-Loup, QC/Quebec, QC)
    Sabrina Pettinicchi (Montreal, QC/Charters Settlement, NB)
    Lori Radke (Wetaskiwin, AB/Calgary, AB)
    Tara Feser (Edmonton, AB/St. Albert, AB)
    Misty Thomas (California, USA/Vancouver, BC)
    Alisha Williams (Prince George, BC/Prince George, BC)

    Coaches
    Tim Frick - Head Coach
    Bill Johnson - Assistant Coach
    Bruce Enns - Assistant Coach
    Jane Labreche - Physiologist
    Sheila Forler Bauman - Physiotherapist
    Laura Goertz - Massage Therapist
    Barb Griffen - Team Manager

    About Canadian Paralympic Committee

    The Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC) is a non-profit, charitable,
private organization that is recognized by the International Paralympic
Committee (IPC). The CPC delivers programs that strengthen the Paralympic
Movement in Canada, including sending Canadian teams to the Paralympic Games.
The CPC empowers persons with physical disabilities, through sport, at all
levels. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca.

    About the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association

    The Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association (CWBA) is the national
sports governing body responsible for the organization of wheelchair
basketball in Canada. The CWBA is committed to sport excellence in the
development, support and promotion of wheelchair basketball programs and
services for all Canadians. It is committed to providing opportunities for
athletes with a disability to participate in a fully integrated sport program
at the level they choose. It promotes growth at the initiation, developmental,
competitive and elite levels, and offers programs for youth, women and men.




For further information:

For further information: Jeff Dunbrack, Canadian team high performance
coordinator, (613) 260-1296, ext. 202, jeff@cwba; Norma Reveler, Canadian
Paralympic Committee media relations, (613) 569-4333, ext. 227,
norma@paralympic.ca


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