Friday, 28 March 2014
The Mayoress of Worcester, Councillor Pat Agar, met with the University of Worcester’s wheelchair basketball team this week, and spoke of her pride as the city continues to establish itself as the home of the sport in Great Britain.
The team won the sport’s inaugural University Championships earlier this month, overcoming competition from four other institutions at the University of Worcester Arena.
The University Arena, the country’s first fully inclusive indoor sporting facility and one of the UK’s premier wheelchair basketball venues, is home to the Great Britain team, and will host the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in August and September 2015.
It is hoped that the game will continue to develop at university level over the coming years, and after being invited to meet the Mayoress at the Guildhall this week, members of the University’s victorious team were hailed as ‘pioneers’.
Cllr Agar said: “It’s tremendous that Worcester has become such a prominent centre for wheelchair basketball; I’m delighted to see it happen.
“It’s taken a little while, but there was always such a determination to make it (the University Arena) happen, it’s now rather wonderful to be able to meet this team of champions.
“Long may their success continue – they’re going to spread the word of wheelchair basketball throughout the country, going into coaching and teaching, so I’m deeply impressed; they’re going to be pioneers, which is always special.”
Glyn Harding, Principal Lecturer in Sports Coaching Science, accompanied the team to the Guildhall, and he added: “The students associated with the wheelchair basketball team continue to inspire their fellow students, as well as staff and the local community associated with the sport.
“The club has grown with support from the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science and the Students’ Union, with player gaining coaching qualifications to allow them to coach in the community with their peers. These students and others are now campaigning for disability sports to be included with the BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) programme as a legacy of London 2012.
“It was wonderful that the Mayoress was able to welcome the squad to the Guildhall for what was a truly memorable, informative and fun visit to mark their landmark performance.”