The road to Rio will start in Worcester this summer as the City welcomes the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships from August 28th – September 6th 2015.
The University of Worcester Arena will play host to 19 teams from across Europe, battling it out not only to be crowned European Champions, but also to gain the right of passage as qualifiers at the next Paralympic Games in Rio 2016.
The men’s GB team will enter the games as firm favourites. All eyes will also be on the GB women’s side, after the GB Women’s under 25 team were crowned World Champions in China earlier this year.
Worcestershire won the bid in 2013 to host the championships and is the home of the National Training Centre for British Wheelchair Basketball.
The President of IWBF, Jan Berteling said: “The Worcestershire bid to host the IWBF Europe Wheelchair Basketball Championships stood out for many reasons. Key was the accessibility of the venue, the closeness of accessible accommodation and the partnership seen between the community, business and education.“
The Mayor of Worcester, Councillor Roger Knight said: “I think everyone in Worcester is looking forward to welcoming the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships to our vibrant city. It is a great opportunity for local families to experience first hand the atmosphere and excitement of elite and Paralympic Sport. To have this opportunity on their doorstep is fantastic, especially at a time when the kids are on summer holiday.”
Leader of Worcestershire County Council, Councillor Adrian Hardman said: “There is no doubt that the residents of Worcestershire will get behind the games to give our European neighbours a warm welcome to World Class Worcestershire. The games are set to be fast-paced and exciting and I wish all the teams the best of luck.”
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Hosting such a high-profile sporting event provides a positive impact for businesses and the local economy with the spotlight firmly on the County with 11 countries participating and their supporters coming and staying in the local area during the 10 days of the competition.”
Mick Donovan of the University of Worcester said: “It is a great honour to host the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships. As home to the National GB squad, securing the European qualifier for the Paralympic Games in Rio gives us an important opportunity to showcase the exceptional, inclusive facilities that we have to offer here at the University.”
During the event, Worcester will also play host to the International Wheelchair Basketball World Congress and British Wheelchair Basketball Awards Gala dinner.
Local businesses wishing to get more involved in the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
To buy tickets to this event please visit www.euro2015.uk or call the ticketline 0844 888 9991