17 November 2021

The East London Phoenix have announced that they are adding Beth Wheeler to their roster ahead of the inaugural Women's Premier League season.

A 3.0 classification player, Beth was introduced to wheelchair basketball at the end of 2014 in a taster session at her college and cites her U25 World Championship Great Britain (GB) squad selection as the proudest moment of her sporting career to date.

The 25-year-old was also included in the GB training squad for the 2020 Paralympic Games.

Speaking about the Phoenix, Beth said, "I am looking forward to the opportunity to compete against some of the best female players in the game. To be able to do this in a national, professional league I think is groundbreaking."

The Phoenix are partnered with the University of East London (UEL) and are the University's first franchise of its kind.

UEL already runs a High Performance Programme to help develop elite level athletes, but it was the chance to break into new sports which appealed to staff.

Director of Sport James Kilden said, "This is going to be the first time that these women are able to play regularly in the top-flight without being in mixed teams, so it's a very exciting opportunity."

It is hoped that the league will not only inspire others to take up wheelchair basketball but also develop their own dual careers - an important theme for the University.

Dual career support officer Alex Kyriacou said, "Players will have the chance to play alongside other commitments including studying at the University. It's an opportunity to really take on this dual career message which is really important for modern day athletes."

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