Artland Open 2011
The 2nd Artland Open Wheelchair Basketball Tournament for Women Under 25 took place in the Artland Arena, Quakenbruck, Germany from 23rd to 26th June 2011. The Artland Open is organized by the Artland Dragon Wheelers in co operation with IWBF Europe.
All of the players appreciated the opportunity to play against other women of a similar age to themselves. Louise Forell from Sweden says ‘’back home, I play mostly on a men’s team so it is great to get to play with women and especially women in the same age group as me. This has allowed me to take more responsibility than I am used to which is great for me.’’ Louise played on the Dragon Wheelers team – the team was made up of players from Germany, Switzerland and Sweden. The team had no opportunity to train together – they only met a few minutes before their first game! However, under the guidance of coach Frits Wiegmann, the team improved with each match as the competition progressed.
Gabby Roberts – Winter and her team mate on the Team Canada U25 team, Ali Haak,
both had a birthday during the event. Gabby, who was 21, said ‘’ I was here at the 1st Artland Open in 2009 and I have really enjoyed coming back. It is good to see new teams – the tournament started 2 years ago with 4 teams and now we have 5, so that shows growth in our sport’’ Ali also enjoyed the tournament, especially playing against the European teams for the first time. Stephanie Park and Corin Metzger were also both playing internationally for the first time. ‘’ I’ve had fun – there definitely should be more opportunities for girls to play against other teams of the same age as us’’ said Stephanie.
Judith Nunez from the ABAFFE –SR team has played for the Spanish National Team since 2005 but still agreed that it was a good idea to have a tournament for women under U25. Her team mate, Macarena Garcia Ortiz was playing in her first international competition and said ‘’ I enjoyed playing against the other girls and also learnt a lot from watching the high level players from Germany, Canada and the Netherlands. I now want to train hard to get to their level.’’
Sanne Timmerman from the Netherlands was also playing her first international competition. She especially liked the opportunity to play and to learn from watching the more experienced players in action. Her ambition is to train hard and to gain a place in the Dutch National Team. Wanda Zandbergen agreed that the tournament was a great motivation for the young players as ‘’it is a good chance to test yourself against players who are the same age as me.’’
For the German U25 team, the Artland Open was the final preparation tournament before the U25 World Championships in Canada. Mareike Aderman said ‘’the Artland Open is a good preparation for the World Championships. It was a great experience playing against Canada who are in the same pools as us in the World Championships – we now know that we can be competitive against them.’’ Stephanie Altmeir was tasting international competition for the first time. ‘’This is very exciting for me and I hope to come to more events like this is the future’’ she said.
The final rankings in the tournament were:
- Canada U25
- Germany U25
- ABAFE – SR Spain
- Dragon Wheelers Europe