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Three University of Worcester Students to Represent Great Britain at the Rio Paralympic Games

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Three University of Worcester students will represent Great Britain in Women’s Wheelchair Basketball at the Rio Paralympic Games this summer.

Sophie Carrigill, Jude Hamer and Leah Evans have all made it in to the final selection for the GB squad.

Sophie, a third year Psychology student at the University, is a graduate of the British Paralympic Association’s Paralympic Inspiration Programme, which saw her attend London 2012 as a spectator in order to soak up the atmosphere and learn about what it takes to compete at the Games.

“Getting to experience London 2012 as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme really inspired me to reach Rio,” she said. “I have trained so hard in the last few years and now I want to do my very best this summer and make my family and the nation proud.”

Sophie co-captains the team alongside Helen Freeman.

Jude, who is studying Biochemistry at the University, represented the team at London 2012, while for Leah, a student in Sports Coaching Science with Disability, it will be her first time at the Paralympics.

All three students are on University’s Elite Athlete Mentors programme and the GB squad trains daily at the University of Worcester Arena.

Charlotte Beaman-Evans, Talented Athlete Lifestyle Advisor at the University, said: “This is a truly wonderful achievement for our three students and a testament to their hard work, determination and dedication both on and off the court.”

The women’s wheelchair basketball team has had a run of successful results recently, including a 5th place finish at the World Championships in 2014 – their highest ever position.

Penny Briscoe MBE, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said: “This is one of the strongest teams I think we have ever fielded in women’s wheelchair basketball and I am looking forward to seeing how they get on at the Rio Paralympic Games.

“This is a sport that combines all the speed and energy with sharp manoeuvring and plenty of spills – it is always incredibly exciting for the public to watch and I’m confident it will be again.”

Paul Davies, Performance Director at British Wheelchair Basketball, added: “To compete at the Paralympic Games is one of the highest honours an athlete can receive: these athletes have worked incredibly hard for years and I am delighted that they have reached this point in their sporting careers. In the years since London 2012, the GB Women have earned their place within the world’s top five teams and, building upon an extremely strong preparation programme, are set to achieve the best ever Paralympic performance in Rio.”