University Students Strive for Gold Medals at the Visually Impaired World Championships in Japan

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Two students from the University of Worcester will represent England at the Visually Impaired Football World Championship.

Adam Lione and Russell Wheldon will fly to Sendai, Japan, tomorrow (Friday), to begin the challenge, with the first match against Ukraine on Wednesday, 6th February.

“The team is confident and our goal is to win the gold. We are very happy that we made it through all of the selection stages and we have great all-round players. After all of the trainings and preparations, it has to be the gold,” said Adam.

Adam, who is a first-year Journalism and Sports student, joined the University on the Visually Impaired Scholarship scheme.

The 19-year-old, from Southminster, Essex, started playing disability football at the age of 15, having played mainstream football before. Since then he has been playing for the national Visually Impaired Football Squad and the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford. Adam will be part of the England squad playing at the World Cup.

Meanwhile, Russell, who is doing his Masters in Sports Coaching at the University, and combining his studies with a job with the Football Association, will be the Squad’s Performance Analyst. He is also Performance Analyst for the Great Britain Blind Football squad.

The 24-year-old, from Bridgnorth, Shropshire, who gained a First Class Honours Sports Coaching Science degree at the University of Worcester, has been using innovative practices in the analysis area and is looking forward to completing a PhD and becoming university lecturer.

David Mycock, Senior Sports Coaching Science Lecturer at the University, who has worked with both students in blind and visually impaired football, said: “Both Adam and Russell are among our best students. We are very happy that they are going to the Championship in such important roles. It is fantastic that the University can support a wide range of disability sports, particularly visually impaired football. Adam is a real example how our scholarship scheme works and aims to provide him with even brighter professional future. Our Disability Sport programmes are innovative and many institutions are still trying to reach the level of research and excellence that we have already achieved in this area.”

Glyn Harding, Student Athlete Mentor at the University of Worcester, added: “We are delighted that both Adam and Russell will be representing England in this World Cup. Russell has made an outstanding contribution to disability football alongside his studies, throughout his undergraduate degree and now through his Masters. With Adam, he has only been at University for one semester and is already doing great things. On top of his national commitments, he represents the University in sighted football at the BUCS competition and has been supported by the University to pursue his talents alongside his studies.”

For information on all courses at University of Worcester visit or for application enquiries telephone 01905 855111 or email