Maureen Orchard (Winnipeg, Man.) has revolutionized the sport of wheelchair basketball at home and abroad. She brings more than 30 years of experience and dedication to the sport.
Currently the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) secretary general, Orchard began volunteering in wheelchair sports in 1985 as treasurer of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (CWSA). She was a key player in the establishment of the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball Association (CWBA) – now Wheelchair Basketball Canada – in 1993. She served as President of the CWBA from 1993-1998 and was inducted into the CWBA Hall of Fame as a builder in 1998.
In 1991, Orchard became involved with the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF). She has been a key player in the organization and delivery of major international wheelchair basketball, has served on numerous boards and committees and received numerous awards and recognition.
Orchard also assisted the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation Classification Commission with the development of a new Player Classification and Identity Card System introduced at the 1996 Paralympic Games. Orchard designed the database, which is still in use today, and worked alongside Don Perriman to ensure it was accessible to all individuals interested in wheelchair basketball.
With her vision and leadership, Orchard spearheaded the introduction of age-specific IWBF World Championships for both junior men and junior women. The inaugural Men’s U23 World Championship was hosted in Toronto in 1997. The first Women’s U25 World Championship took place in St. Catharines, Ont., in 2011.
Orchard was inducted in the builder category to the Manitoba Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015.