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Worcester Duo Selected for Invictus Games

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A former University of Worcester student and the captain of the Worcester Wolves wheelchair basketball team have been selected to represent Great Britain at this month’s Invictus Games.

Rick Powell and Adam Nixon have both been named as part of the wheelchair basketball team, and a part of the 130-strong GB squad.

The Games – championed by HRH Prince Harry – will see wounded servicemen and women from 14 nations come together to take part in a Paralympic-style multi-sport event in venues across the South East, including many built specifically for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Adam, from Hereford, served in the Royal Artillery for nine years before suffering serious injuries whilst on his second tour of duty in Iraq.

After undergoing extensive rehabilitation at Headley Court, Adam’s family suggested he join the Wolves’ wheelchair basketball team, and continue a sporting passion that he’d had since childhood.

“Basketball was always a passion of mine as a kid,” he explains. “After I left the forces, I spent a couple of years not doing too much, until my wife basically said ‘enough is enough’ and she and my sister helped to find a local club – the Worcester Wolves.”

Incredibly, that was just a year ago, and when Adam leads Great Britain out at the Copper Box Arena next week, it will complete an astonishing turnaround, which he says he been made possible in part by the Worcester’s renowned wheelchair basketball programme.

The University of Worcester Arena is specifically designed with the needs of wheelchair athletes in mind and is the training base for the Great Britain men’s and women’s teams, as well as being host venue for next year’s European Championships.

“I was in complete shock when I found out I was going to be captain,” admits Adam. “I wasn’t expecting it, but it is a huge honour – a massive honour.

“The wheelchair basketball programme at Worcester is phenomenal. We train at the University Arena and the St John’s campus, and I’ve been lucky enough to attend a couple of the GB women’s training camps held at the University.

“Watching world class players and coaches gives you a huge insight into the game and a great incentive to push on and reach the highest level you can.”

After rediscovering his passion for the game, Adam has helped to set up a club in Hereford, the Hereford Hornets, with the help of staff from the University of Worcester’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science.

Adam will be joined in the squad by Rick, another wounded former serviceman whose sporting options increased when he enrolled on the Paramedic course at the University after having his left leg amputated due to injuries sustained in Iraq.

Rick explains: “When I started playing at Worcester there was only four of us, then four became ten and we now have two teams in the Central League and train with the GB women on a regular basis.”

The Invictus Games get underway on September 10. The wheelchair basketball competition will see eight nations compete against each other at the Copper Box. For more information, visit invictusgames.org.

To find out more about the Worcester Wolves, visit www.worcesterwolves.org, and for more information on the Hereford Hornets, contact herefordhornets@outlook.com, or visit their Facebook page.