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Olympic Legacy Brought Back to Life at the University of Worcester Arena

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Dozens of schoolchildren from across the West Midlands descended on the University of Worcester Arena, for the second consecutive year, as the University played host to the British Wheelchair Basketball Inclusive Zone Basketball (IZB) Schools Competition.

IZB is a 4 a-side game, developed to enable players who cannot participate in a full game of basketball to enjoy playing the game. The biggest regional event across the West Midlands saw 65 school pupils, both disabled and able-bodied, represent their schools.

In a competition for the Regional Title and a highly coveted spot in the National Finals, 13 teams from 11 schools stepped on court to take part in the action-packed day.

Twenty six student volunteers from the University of Worcester proved their skills and professionalism in a range of roles throughout the day.

The final game saw victorious Tudor Grange Academy from Worcester defend their regional crown, securing a place at the National Finals, which will take place at the University of Worcester Arena on 7th May. Lakeside Academy went home with Silver and Hall Green Secondary School got the Bronze medals.

British Wheelchair Basketball Education Development Officer Oli Mitchell said: “It’s fantastic to see the tournament returning again to the region, and year on year seeing schools getting stuck in to the action. The students competing for their schools – several of them for the very first time – performed outstandingly both on and off the court, and the number of schools consistently entering this annual competition is a great testament to the amazing coverage that not just wheelchair basketball, but disability sport is receiving at the moment. We definitely hope to see them all again next year and look forward to welcoming Tudor Grange Academy to the National Finals!

“In addition to all the schools and their staff, huge thanks must also go to the volunteers at University of Worcester – BWB are very excited to be working with the University as our Regional Centre to continue to drive forward wheelchair basketball in the West Midlands.”

University of Worcester Coach Education Manager Craig Williams, who co-organised the day’s event as lead for the West Midlands Regional Wheelchair Basketball Centre, said: “The mix of new and experienced players/teams, disabled and non-disabled players has been superb, really breaking down barriers to inclusive participation in sport. We identified two new local players, who will be joining the weekly IZB sessions at the University.

“Each year shows how powerful sport is for the development of school pupils. In a really interesting discussion with Lisa Glass from Christopher Whitehead school, it was great to hear that sport has really helped the school improve engagement, inspire new students to play and become a key part of their school programmes.”

All 65 pupils headed home with very positive memories and a ticket for the Worcester Wolves victorious game against Newcastle Eagles, held at the University of Worcester Arena.