Canada’s new coach makes debut at last chance Paralympic Games qualifier

Canadian Paralympic Committee

April 09, 2024

Women’s wheelchair basketball team needs top-four finish in Osaka

Kathleen Dandeneau, Tokyo 2020 - Wheelchair Basketball

OTTAWA – Michele Sung was named head coach of Canada’s women’s wheelchair basketball team last month and her first assignment is the last chance Paralympic Games qualifying tournament.

The eight-country event is set for April 17-20 in Osaka, Japan. The top-four teams earn tickets to the Paris Games set for August 28 to September 8.

“It’s definitely a unique and new challenge for me,” Sung told CTV News. “I’m really excited to get back to coaching at the international level.”

Sung is currently head coach of the University of Manitoba Bisons women’s team. With the women’s wheelchair team, she served as an assistant coach from 2012 to 2014 which included the gold medal at the 2014 world championships.

“Expectations are to qualify,” she said. ‘’That’s the goal. It’s a competitive tournament and they have decreased the amount of teams at the Paralympics, so the task is harder.”

The women’s Paralympic tournament has gone from 10 countries to 8 for Paris.

Since that world crown, the Canadian women have placed fifth at the last two Paralympics and last two world championships.



Twelve players have been named to the roster for Canada, and the team can count on some of the world’s greatest players including Cindy Ouellet of Quebec City, Kady Dandeneau of Pender Island, B.C., and Arinn Young of Legal, Alta., always among the leaders in offensive and defensive categories in international play.

In Osaka, the fifth-ranked Canada is the top seed in pool B with Japan and Spain (ranked seventh and eighth internationally) and France. The French don’t have an automatic berth as Games host.

Pool A is comprised of number-four Germany, #6 Australia, and Algeria and Thailand (#11-12).

Canada opens against Japan April 17 with its other preliminary round games April 18 against Spain and April 19 against France.

The tournament ends with the four quarterfinals, with the winners going to Paris.

‘’Our preparations are going very well,” said Ouellet, vying for a sixth Paralympic Games appearance which includes one at the winter Games in Para nordic skiing.

‘’We’ve got a solid team that’s been together for the last two years and the players have been busy with their respective leagues and our recent camps, so we’ll be ready.’’

Already qualified so far for Paris 2024 are the Netherlands and Great Britain, 1-2 at the European Championships, the U.S., which beat Canada in the Parapan Am Games final for the early spot, and China as Asian champs.

Team Canada for the women’s wheelchair basketball Paralympic Games qualifying tournament April 17-20 in Osaka, Japan:

Kady Dandeneau (Pender Island, B.C.)
Sofia Fassi-Fehri (Montreal, Que.)
Melanie Hawtin (Oakville, Ont.)
Bethany Johnson (Winnipeg, Man.)
Puisand Lai (Toronto, Ont.)
Rosalie Lalonde (Saint-Clet, Que.)
Tara Llanes (North Vancouver, B.C.)
Cindy Ouellet (Quebec City, Que.)
Desiree Isaac-Pictou (Eel River Bar First Nation, N.B.)
Tamara Steeves (Mississauga, Ont.)
Élodie Tessier (Saint-Germain de Grantham, Que.)
Arinn Young (Legal, Alta.)

Michèle Sung (Milgrove, Ont.)— Head Coach
Dylan Carter (Toronto, Ont.)—Assistant Coach

Team Canada’s schedule
(all times eastern)

April 17 – Japan vs Canada – 2:00 a.m.
April 17 – Spain vs Canada – 11:45 p.m.
April 18 – Canada vs France – 11:45 p.m.
April 19/20 – TBD

All games will be streamed on the IWBF YouTube channel.

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