The International Wheelchair Rugby Federation (IWRF) has announced that the 2018 IWRF World Championship will be held in Sydney, Australia.
The successful bid was submitted by Disability Sports Australia (DSA), which made a formal announcement at Thursday’s (7 July) opening of the 2016 GIO Fierce 4 Rugby Wheelchair Rugby Nationals in Sydney.
The 2018 IWRF World Championship will bring 12 of the world’s best wheelchair rugby teams to the Sydney Olympic Park complex from 4-10 August 2018. Host Australia will be joined by 11 others determined through a regional qualification process beginning at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
"IWRF is excited to bring our Wheelchair Rugby World Championship to Australia for the first time. Australia is a strong competitor with a long history in our sport, having participated in every World Championship and Paralympic Games competition,” said IWRF President John Bishop. “Many of us have great memories of the Sydney 2000 Paralympic Games, and we look forward to coming back to the Sydney Olympic Park and the great sports fans of Australia. DSA put together an excellent bid and I am confident they will give us a fantastic World Championship."
Jenni Cole, Chief Executive Officer of DSA, said: “The success of our bid is a milestone for Australian sport and comes with significant support from our partners the Australian Rugby Union and Australian Defence Force. We are delighted that the Championships will bring the world’s most elite wheelchair rugby competition to the Australian public.”
The IWRF World Championship is held every four years; previous hosts were Nottwil, Switzerland (1995); Toronto, Canada (1998); Gothenburg, Sweden (2002); Christchurch, New Zealand (2006); Vancouver, Canada (2010); and Odense, Denmark (2014).
Sydney was the host of the 2000 Paralympic Games, the first time wheelchair rugby had full medal status at a Paralympic Games. Australia is the current world and Paralympic champion, having taken the gold medals in London in 2012 and Odense in 2014.