Monday, 06 July 2015
Worcester-based student, Sophie Carrigill, says that she is confident of impressing in front of a home crowd at the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships later this year after helping her country to victory in the under-25 World Championships.
Sophie was part of the Great Britain under-25 team which clinched the gold medal with a 44-35 victory over Australia in Beijing this morning; completing a sensational tournament during which they won all five of their pool games before defeating Canada in the semi-final.
Sophie says: “It’s absolutely amazing to be World Champions. I’m so proud of these girls; we worked so hard every day back in Worcester, we put so much time into this and we make so many sacrifices. This just makes it all worth it!
“It’s great momentum for our whole squad to see the under-25 team come back with gold; it just gives the whole squad a lot of energy and excitement leading towards the senior European Championships.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to make a final there with having our home crowd behind us. We would love to get two golds in one year!”
Those senior European Championships will take place in Worcester later this summer, and Sophie has been named in the squad alongside fellow University of Worcester student, Jude Hamer.
The British women, who will be looking to build on the bronze medal they won in Frankfurt in 2013, put in some encouraging displays at last month’s Continental Clash tournament; including securing an impressive win over Paralympic champions Germany.
The Germans are one of six teams in Great Britain’s way as Miles Thompson’s team look to qualify for next year’s Paralympics – the best four sides from the European Championships will progress – but Biochemistry student Jude believes that Britain possess the necessary talent to book their place in Rio.
“Preparations are going really well,” she explains. “A lot of people have been putting a lot of hard work in over the last year or so, and now we know who’s in the squad, we’ve all got the chance to work together and grow as a team.
“Everybody has the talent, we just need to ensure that we gel together as a squad over the coming weeks.”
Both Sophie, originally from Leeds, and Jude, who hails from Exeter, have made Worcester their home over recent years; studying, living and training in the city. Psychology student Sophie says she is delighted to be taking part in competing against the best from the continent on her home court.
“Worcester is definitely my adopted home,” she explains. “I live here, I train here, I’m a student here; it has become my second home and it’s really exciting to think that we have got our European Championships based here.
“Hopefully all the friends I’ve made here and all the fans of the sport will be able to come down and cheer us on.”
For further information on the forthcoming European Championships, including details of how to purchase tickets, visit the official website.