Tuesday, 19 November 2013
The University of Worcester Arena is a ‘phenomenal’ venue which can only inspire Great Britain’s future generation of elite athletes, according to a double Paralympic medallist.
Archer Mel Clarke – who won a silver medal at London 2012 and bronze in Beijing four years earlier – is an ambassador for the British Paralympic Association’s Sports Fest event, which will take place at the University Arena on November 24th and 25th.
The event will see disabled people given the opportunity to try out a number of Paralympic sports, and to meet Mel and some of her Paralympics GB team-mates.
“I’m really looking forward to it – I’ve heard so many positive things about previous Sports Fest events,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to get athletes together and for the public to come and have a go at sports they may not have thought of trying out.
“This could inspire someone to perform and ultimately represent their country, and maybe medal in future Paralympics.”
The next Games are in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, and Mel – who lives in Worcestershire – is targeting a third successive medal in Brazil.
The Great Britain team claimed 120 medals in London last year – 34 of them gold – in what was widely considered the greatest Paralympic Games in history. Now, Mel believes that the University of Worcester Arena can play a big role in ensuring that success on the global stage continues.
“It’s a fantastic venue,” says Mel, who visited the University Arena for the first time last week. “It’s a lot bigger than I thought, and to see the courts and the facilities inside is phenomenal – it’s definitely up there with the best training facilities I’ve seen.
“In general, facilities for disabled athletes are improving, and to be able to train somewhere of this standard will have a huge impact on athletes. The more accessible somewhere is, the less you have to worry about, and the better your training will be, so obviously that has a positive effect on performance.”
She adds: “Facilities like this will certainly help in providing the next generation of British athletes, and the fact that it is here in Worcester is great for the area.”
Sports Fest is a free event, and you can find out more information and register to attend at www.sportsfest.uk.com.