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Spirit of the Games Brought Back to Life with Hundreds of Schoolchildren at New Multimillion-Pound Sports Arena

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The spirit of the London 2012 Games will be brought back to life when hundreds of schoolchildren descend on a brand new multimillion-pound sports arena for two days of disability sport action.

The University of Worcester Arena was one of only six national projects to receive funding from Sport England’s Iconic Facilities Olympic legacy fund, with a grant of £1.5m.

On Wednesday, May 1st, the Arena will play host to the national finals of the 2013 British Wheelchair Basketball Inclusive Zone Basketball (IZB) Schools Competition. Then the following day, Thursday, May 2nd, hundreds of schoolchildren will come together for a Special Olympics Schools Sports Event.

These will be the first major sporting events in the £15m facility since its completion this month.

Mick Donovan, Head of the University’s Institute of Sport & Exercise Science, said: “What better way to start using this fantastic new facility than with hundreds of local schoolchildren keeping the legacy of the London 2012 Games going? We are thrilled to be hosting such events in what is sure to become an iconic facility, not only for Worcester, but the entire region.”

The University of Worcester Arena is the first indoor sports facility in the Country designed specifically to accommodate disabled and able-bodied athletes. The changing rooms can each accommodate a full team of wheelchair athletes and every aspect of the building has been designed to ensure the facility becomes a national centre of excellence for disability sport.

Last month, the University of Worcester hosted the largest Regional Heat in the history of the IZB competition, overseeing a 50% increase in the number of teams from 2012.

Now the West Midlands Champions, Tudor Grange Academy, will join all the Regional Champions and University of Worcester students, to battle it out to lift the coveted National trophy.

Combining two of the London 2012 Games’ hottest sports – running and wheelchair basketball – Inclusive Zone Basketball enables players with a physical disability to represent their school and region alongside their non-disabled classmates in an action-packed, fast paced sport.

The Special Olympics Schools Sports Event, on Thursday, will see at least 15 schools from across the City getting involved in a host of sports including Boccia, wheelchair basketball and Goalball.

The event has been organised by Senior Lecturers in Sports Coaching Science, David Mycock and Glyn Harding.

“The London 2012 Games were hugely inspiring and many of these children will hopefully have seen some of these sports on TV but never had chance to play them themselves until now,” David said.

“We hope to bring back the spirit of the Games and ensure that children continue to get involved in sport and we are delighted to be able to do that in this wonderful new arena,” added Glyn.

Sports students from the University will work with the children at the event with Gold, Silver and Bronze medals up for grabs.

For more information about the University of Worcester Arena visit www.worcesterarena.com

For information on courses at University of Worcester visit www.worcester.ac.uk or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email admissions@worc.ac.uk