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President of the International Paralympic Committee and Five-Time Paralympian to Open the University of Worcester Arena

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The President of the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and five-time Paralympian, Sir Philip Craven MBE, is to perform the formal opening of the University of Worcester Arena on January 29.

The University of Worcester Arena is Britain’s first indoor sporting venue specifically designed to meet the needs of wheelchair as well as able-bodied athletes. Already the home of GB wheelchair basketball, the University Arena’s spacious, inclusive design has earned plaudits nationally and internationally.

The University Arena will host the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in August 2015 – the European qualifying tournament for the Rio 2016 Paralympics.

Sir Philip, who was recently re-elected for a fourth successive term as President of the International Paralympic Committee, represented Great Britain at wheelchair basketball, in all five Paralympic Games from 1972 to 1988.

He also represented the nation in track and field events at the 1972 Paralympic Games. Sir Philip’s keynote speech at the opening of the London 2012 Paralympic Games is widely considered a defining moment in the development of disability sport internationally.

Professor David Green, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Worcester, said: “In a few short months, the University of Worcester Arena has become an inspiring new international centre for disability sport welcoming children and top world athletes alike. 

“We are very pleased that Sir Philip Craven, who has played and is playing such an inspiring role in the development of disability sport worldwide, has graciously agreed to perform the opening ceremony.”

“The University of Worcester Arena has already hosted jam-packed top-flight basketball games, netball national finals and internationals, badminton finals, a Paralympic Sports Fest and a string of international wheelchair basketball matches,” he added.

“It is vibrant, iconic facility which is inspiring hundreds of people – particularly children – into participating in sport on a daily, dynamic basis.”

"The University of Worcester Arena will be a centre for inclusion and participation for many years to come.”