Monday, 30 June 2014
British Wheelchair Basketball is beginning to reap the rewards from its link-up with the University of Worcester after the women's national team recorded their best ever World Championship placing of fifth in Canada over the weekend.
Both the Great Britain men's and women's team train at the University of Worcester Arena, which was specifically designed to meet the needs of wheelchair athletes and was opened in April of last year.
In their first major tournament since permanently basing themselves at the University Arena, Miles Thompson's side suffered a quarter-final defeat to reigning champions the USA, before bouncing back in some style to secure fifth position with victories over France and Paralympic silver medalists, Australia.
Their previous best showing in a World Championships was sixth.
Great Britain captain and University of Worcester student Sophie Carrigill said after the victory over Australia: "I think it's been great that, for the past year, we've had our programme based at the University of Worcester Arena.
"It's a great facility and we've been able to train so much more than we ever have done in the past. It put us in a really good position coming into these World Championships as we knew that we would be able to compete against more teams because of all the training we've put in.
"Obviously, that has shown as we've managed to achieve the country's best ever position."
The men's team, who also train at the University Arena, will be looking to follow the success of their female counterparts when they get their World Championship campaign underway in South Korea later this week.
Both teams will then turn their attentions to the 2015 European Championships, which will be held at the University of Worcester Arena next summer.
The Head of the University's Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, Mick Donovan, says: "Everyone at the University is thrilled for the British women's team. That their talent and dedication has been rewarded with an historic fifth-place finish speaks volumes for the work put in at the University Arena, both by the playing squad and the staff behind the scenes.
"We wish the men's team well for their World Championships in South Korea, and we look forward to welcoming both teams back to the University Arena as we continue to look forward to the 2015 European Championships in Worcester, which we truly believe will be a fantastic occasion."
Image courtesy of British Wheelchair Basketball.