Worcestershire will have the eyes of the sporting world upon it as it will play host to the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
Councillor Pam Davey, Chair of Worcestershire County Council attended the draw that was held at Worcester Cathedral and attended by senior officials from the championships as well as Councillors, representatives from the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership, local sporting stars and the Lord Mayor of Worcester.
The Championships will take place between 28th August and the 6th September and will finish exactly one year before the opening ceremony of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
The Championships will see an exciting competition of 12 men’s and seven women’s teams fighting for qualification to the Summer Paralympic Games in Rio. They will also be competing for the title of European Champions – which has been held by the Great Britain Men’s Team for the past two championships.
Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council and Worcestershire Local Enterprise have teamed up to become official regional sponsors of the event. The event will be hosted at the University of Worcester, who were named as the key partner alongside UK Sport several years ago.
Councillor Adrian Hardman, Leader of Worcestershire County Council said: “We are thrilled to welcome the world to Worcestershire. We already think that Worcestershire is a world class destination to come and visit and our sporting prowess is really second to none. We welcome the players, visitors and media from around the world to the county and hope to make the games as great a success as possible.”
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership said: “Hosting the Championships are very exciting and adds to an extensive sporting calendar happening in the County across the year. These high profile sporting events raise the profile of Worcestershire, both nationally and internationally, and with visitors, supporters and teams staying in the local area this brings economic benefit to our economy. The example of this is last year’s Tour of Britain, which added nearly £1m into the local economy.”
Councillor Simon Geraghty, Leader of Worcester City Council, said: “Worcester is building a reputation as a vibrant city for sport, with the Worcester 10k and the Tour of Britain having enhanced our standing over the last 12 months. It’s very exciting to be able to welcome the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships and I’m looking forward to people across the world seeing for themselves what fantastic sporting provision we have in the city.”
The University of Worcester was named as the training base of British Wheelchair Basketball GB Teams in 2013. Over 400 elite athletes and officials from across Europe will be based at the University’s brand new arena during the duration of the games.