Tuesday, 05 November 2013
One of Great Britain’s London 2012 Paralympic heroes has described the University of Worcester Arena as the ‘benchmark’ for inclusive sports facilities.
Herefordshire’s Josie Pearson, who won gold in the F51 discus at last year’s Games, is an ambassador for the British Paralympic Association’s Sports Fest event, which will give disabled people the opportunity to try out a variety of different Paralympic sports at the University Arena on November 24th and 25th.
The new venue is the first in the country to be purpose-built to accommodate able-bodied and disabled athletes, and Pearson believes that it is a vital facility as Britain’s Paralympians look to build on the incredible success of London 2012.
“It’s hugely important,” says the 27 year-old. “It’s an amazing, inclusive facility and it’s the benchmark that the rest of the country should aim to follow.
“London 2012 really set the standard that all future Paralympics will have to aspire to, and we have to ensure we get a new generation of athletes coming through so we can live up to those achievements.
"The University of Worcester has both this amazing facility and a real commitment to developing new disability sports coaches, which is vital if we are to have an influx of high quality athletes to challenge for medals at future Paralympics.”
The two-day Sports Fest event will feature thirteen Paralympic sports, including Boccia, Para-Triathlon, Goalball and Sitting Volleyball, and will give disabled people of all abilities and aspirations the chance to learn more about the sports, and try them out.
Josie, who added the World title to her Olympic crown earlier on this year, continues: “If I’d had that opportunity when I was younger, I’d have jumped at the chance. It’s a chance to try a variety of sports, find out what you like, find your nearest club, and who knows, there is a chance you might be competing at a future Games.
“It’s important for us to look for that next generation of talent, and this event is the ideal opportunity.”
For more details about Sports Fest, and to register, visit www.sportsfest.uk.com.