ONPARA Bids Farewell to Provincial Coach Paul Bowes

Bowes to pursue new coaching opportunity in Germany

The Ontario Para Network is saddened to announce the departure of Paul Bowes as Provincial Coach of our Senior Women’s wheelchair basketball team.

Credit: Wheelchair Basketball Canada

“Bowesy,” as he is affectionately known throughout the wheelchair basketball community, has been at the helm of the Ontario Women’s provincial program since the 2015-2016 season, where he played an instrumental role in revitalizing the program and helping to transform the team’s culture. Over the years, he has worked hard alongside the athletes and coaching staff to create a welcoming environment that values hard work, respect, sportsmanship, mentorship, commitment, and learning, in which all participants can be proud to represent Ontario.

“We can’t say enough about the positive impact Bowesy has had on the Team Ontario women’s program and its athletes over the past few years,” said Josée Matte, ONPARA’s High Performance Manager. “He was the perfect fit at a pivotal time when the women’s program was rebuilding and in need of some additional structure and direction. His dedication to developing a positive team culture and his focus on the process, as opposed to results and outcomes, was exactly what was needed at the time. As Head Coach, he helped build a strong foundation for the program that will leave a lasting legacy. We are grateful for his leadership, knowledge, warmth, and sense of humour, and we wish him all the best in his new adventures!”

Bowes’ departure comes after accepting the role of Head Coach with the Rhine River Rhinos, a professional wheelchair basketball team based in Wiesbaden, Germany. The Rhinos play in the top division of the German Rollstuhlbasketball Bundesliga. It’s an exciting new challenge for Bowes, who has always had an interest in exploring the professional side of the game. “When Mirko [Korder] contacted me about the coaching position, it was like a dream had come true. I always wanted to coach in the German league and Mirko is a great person with so much passion for the Rhinos. When someone is so committed to their organization, I knew that it was the right place for me,” said Bowes.

“I’ve learned so much in the 33 years in this sport and I’m grateful to have met so many great people all over the world,” he continued. “I looked at this talented squad and knew that I wanted to work with this group of great athletes and pass on my knowledge to them, but also to learn from all of them and the people in the club.”

During his time with the Ontario Women’s program, Bowes oversaw the training & development of the Senior Women’s Team, which competes annually at the CWBL Women’s National Championship – Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s national event for the country’s top competitive women’s teams. He also spearheaded the Ontario women’s participation in the Spitfire Challenge when the event was revived for its 30th anniversary celebration in 2016, and played a supporting role as Assistant Coach with the Ontario Women’s Development Team at the 2016 Défi Sportif. In addition, Bowesy was named the recipient of Wheelchair Basketball Canada’s True Sport Award in 2017 in recognition for his work with the Ontario Women’s program, Team Canada at the Invictus Games, WBC’s Red & Black Aces teams, and as long-time Head Coach of his home club, the London Forest City Flyers.

ONPARA will soon launch the application process for a new Senior Women’s Provincial Coach for the 2021-22 season. Further information will be made available on our website and shared widely within the wheelchair basketball community.

About the Ontario Para Network

Formerly known as the Ontario Wheelchair Sports Association, our mission at the Ontario Para Network (ONPARA) is to grow opportunities for participation in adaptive sports across Ontario. As the governing body for wheelchair basketball, wheelchair rugby, and wheelchair tennis in the province, we strive to offer opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in recreational, competitive, and high performance programs. We lead, develop, support and advocate for athletes, coaches and volunteers to build strong and inclusive sport communities. We also deliver extensive outreach and education programs targeting schools as well as individuals and clinicians at rehabilitation hospitals and the broader health care sector.