Monday, 17 June 2013
Four of the world’s best wheelchair basketball men’s teams were ‘impressed’ by the accessibility and the features of the University of Worcester Arena.
The Continental Clash 2 2013 saw the Men’s Paralympic Champions, Canada, play against Great Britain, Germany and Spain for the first time at the £15 million University development.
Over 1,300 spectators created a buzzing atmosphere during the final game between Great Britain and Canada last Thursday.
Minutes before the game, Jerry Tonello, Head Coach of the Canadian team, said: “We can tell that a lot of thinking and time had been put into designing the Arena and the result is absolutely fantastic. We rarely see such accessible and inclusive venues for wheelchair basketball. We are looking forward to coming back here to play again.”
Impressed from the first game at the Arena, Nicolai Zeltinger, Head Coach of team Germany, said: “We are very happy and lucky to be playing at the University of Worcester Arena. It is such a great facility. We don’t have the chance to play and practice in venues in Germany, which are specifically developed for disability sports. Having the wooden floor and the standalone baskets is perfect for us, as these are the conditions we have when we go to compete at the European Championships.”
The 5,300m2 Arena has been selected to host the 2015 Wheelchair Basketball Championships, bringing over 400 of Europe’s best athletes to Worcester.
The Arena is further building its profile as centre of excellence for disability sport with the news that it will be the Standard Life GB wheelchair basketball team training venue in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and the preceding World and European championships.
Matt Burne, Guard for team GB, commented: “The Arena has everything needed for an international venue. It is ideal for wheelchair basketball. I’m sure it will make a significant impact on the development of disability sport. We are looking forward to doing the preparation for our next tournaments and championships here.”
Oscar Trigo, Head Coach of team Spain, added: “The team feels very comfortable playing here. We really like how accessible it is, the big court and the layout of the Arena. It is amazing and very beneficial for the University to have this facility.”
Following the success of last week’s games, the Arena sees the women’s Canadian wheelchair basketball team play against Great Britain. The games are taking place this Wednesday, 19th June, at 10.30am with the final on Thursday, 20th June, at 8pm. Both games are free to the public. Anyone interested in attending should contact the Great Britain Wheelchair Basketball Association at firstname.lastname@example.org to book their seats.