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University Praised After Successful European Championships

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The Chief Executive of goalball’s national governing body has praised the University of Worcester’s ‘excellent’ facilities and organisation after the St John’s campus played host to the European C Championships.

 The tournament was the first rung on the ladder towards qualification for the Rio de Janeiro Paralympics, with the top three teams from this tournament gaining promotion to Europe’s B league, and keeping their 2016 Paralympic dreams alive.

Despite a wonderful start, which saw Great Britain win their first eight matches, the home side lost their final two fixtures to finish in an agonising fourth place and miss out on promotion.

Russia, Portugal and Italy all made it through at Britain’s expense, but Goalball UK Chief Executive Mike Reilly, said afterwards: “Despite the heartache, we are very pleased with the way the tournament ran and the excellent facilities at the University of Worcester.

“It is a fantastic campus and the staff and volunteers involved made all the teams and officials feel very welcome.”

Students, local schoolchildren and residents were all amongst the sizeable crowds to witness the four-day competition, and the University of Worcester’s Head of Sport and Exercise Science, Mick Donovan, was delighted with how the event ran.

He said: “We are obviously extremely disappointed that the Great Britain team fell just short of promotion, but we believe the sport and the British team have made many friends in Worcester.

“The University of Worcester is committed to inclusive sport, and it was great to be able to host such an entertaining, enjoyable and fast-growing sport such as goalball. Our staff and student volunteers embraced the tournament and thoroughly enjoyed watching what - to many - is a new sport.

“The feedback we have received from players, staff and officials has been excellent, and we look forward to hosting more events of this nature in the future.”