Gail Hamamoto elected to IWRF Board of Directors
August 27, 2018Wheelchair Rugby Canada is delighted by the recent announcement that Gail Hamamoto has been elected to the IWRF Board of Directors, following an election process that was held at the 2018 International Wheelchair Rugby Federation’s (IWRF) General Assembly and Conference.
Wheelchair Rugby Canada is delighted by the recent announcement that Gail Hamamoto has been elected to the IWRF Board of Directors, following an election process that was held at the 2018 International Wheelchair Rugby Federation’s (IWRF) General Assembly and Conference.
Gail Hamamoto is the Executive Director of BC Wheelchair Sports Association and the Vice-President of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Gail was Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee for the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships at the Richmond Olympic Oval and currently, chairs the Canada Cup International Wheelchair Rugby Tournament held every two years.
Gail fills the board position vacated by a fellow Canadian, Duncan Campbell, one of creators of Wheelchair Rugby and a member of the IWRF Hall of Fame. Duncan recently retired from the Board, having served as a Director for eight years.
In light of her election, Hamamoto has resigned from her role as chair of the Competitions Committee of Wheelchair Rugby Canada.
Taken from IWRF.com – IWRF completes 2018 General Assembly and Conference
The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) General Assembly and Conference took place August 11 and 12 in Sydney, Australia, following the GIO 2018 IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championship. Twenty-two IWRF member nations represented.
The Assembly adopted motions to permit the Board of Directors to implement changes to classification rules on the recommendation of the classification committee; to establish standard formats for IWRF governed competitions; and to amend the process for the selection of hosts for World Championship and Paralympic qualification events.
Reports were received from the Classification, Competitions, Development, and Technical Committees. A representative of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee made a presentation on preparations for the Paralympic Games. The Assembly also received the results of a survey conducted by the IWRF Athletes Council on athlete responses to recent changes to the classification system.
The General Assembly concluded with elections. Current Board member Richard Allcroft of Great Britain was elected President to replace John Bishop, who stepped down after eight years leading IWRF. Allcroft becomes the first President of the IWRF from outside North America, with predecessors Pawel Zbieranowski (Canada), Brad Mikkelsen (USA) and Bishop (USA) previously holding down the role.
“I’ve been involved internationally since about 2010 and I’ve really enjoyed it, just understanding the international landscape, particularly our partnerships with the International Paralympic Committee and World Rugby,” Allcroft said. “We’re at a very exciting time for the sport. You only need to look at the World Championship we’ve just had and the excellent level of competition throughout.”
Outgoing President John Bishop expressed confidence in the future. “Richard has extensive experience in the sport; he’s served in many different roles and has been a Board member since 2012. He’s very well-qualified and has lots of great ideas. I feel very comfortable that the IWRF is going to be in fantastic hands going forward.”
Bishop reflected on his time as President with pride. “It’s really a team effort between the Board, our Committees and of course our members across the world. I’m especially proud of the growth and development of our sport. In 2008, the Americas zone was the US and Canada, and today we have six countries in South America that are actively participating internationally and several others nationally. We have new growth in Europe and we’re seeing a lot of growth in the last couple of years in the Asia-Oceania zone, especially in South-East Asia.”
Allcroft paid tribute to Bishop for his outstanding tenure. “He became President when we were a newly independent international federation and has developed us to where we are today,” Allcroft added. “We govern more than 30 nations playing our sport, we’ve just run a major World Championship and we do that through fantastic people that are involved in the sport.”
Incumbent Vice President Ken Sowden of New Zealand and Athlete Representative Jens Sauerbier of Germany were re-elected to their positions. Canada’s Gail Hamamoto was elected to the Board to fill the position vacated by Duncan Campbell, one of creators of Wheelchair Rugby and a member of the IWRF Hall of Fame, who retired from the Board after eight years as a Director. Hamamoto is the Executive Director of the British Columbia Wheelchair Sports Association and has previously served as a member of the IWAS Wheelchair Rugby Executive Committee. They join Board members Cathy Cadieux, Gary Pate, and Chief Executive Officer Eron Main.
Allcroft’s election as President created a vacancy for a Director on the Board. At a Board meeting immediately following the General Assembly, the new Board appointed Steve Loader of Australia, Deputy Chair of Disability Sports Australia and Chair of the 2018 IWRF World Championship, to fill the vacant position.