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University to Host 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships

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The University of Worcester has been selected to host the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.

Over 400 elite male and female athletes from across Europe will be based at the University and will play at the recently opened University of Worcester Arena.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of the news that the University has been selected as the Standard Life GB wheelchair basketball team training venue in the lead up to the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games and the preceding World and European championships.

The University’s successful bid for the Championships, which received support from UK Sport, was announced by the International European Wheelchair Basketball Federation President, Jan Berteling, during this week’s Continental Clash involving Men’s Paralympic Champions Canada competing against Great Britain, Germany and Spain at the University of Worcester Arena.

Professor David Green, University of Worcester Vice Chancellor, said: “It is a huge honour to have been selected as the venue for the 2015 European Championships. This is a testament to the quality of the work of the University’s staff and students in promoting disability sport and to the highly inclusive design of our magnificent new Arena.”

The European Championships, involving men’s and women’s teams from countries throughout the Continent, will take place in the summer of 2015.

Head of the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, Mick Donovan, added: “We have worked very closely with British Wheelchair Basketball on securing this bid. This success presents a fantastic opportunity for the City of Worcester, the Midlands and the UK as a whole to make this the best supported, most inclusive European Wheelchair Basketball championships of all time.”

Simon Morton, Director of Major Events at UK Sport, said: “Along with our partners British Wheelchair Basketball and the University of Worcester, we are delighted to have won the bid to host the European Wheelchair Basketball Championships in 2015, a significant event in the build up to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

“UK Sport’s National Lottery backed Gold Event Series has the ambitious goal of securing 70 of the world’s top sporting events following London 2012, and this would be a great addition to our growing portfolio of Paralympic events.”

British Wheelchair Basketball Chairman, Malcolm Tarkenter, said: “We are delighted to have won the bid to host the European Championships. It reaffirms the UK as a leading nation of the sport in Europe. Our partnership with the University is going from strength to strength and we are looking forward to delivering a world class event with them, UK Sport and other partners we hope to attract from the local area.”

Professor Green and Mick Donovan will be travelling to Germany to accept the IWBF Europe Flag during the closing ceremony of this year’s Championships in Munich.

Adrian Gregson, Leader of Worcester City Council, said: “The City is very proud that this prestigious international sporting event will be held in Worcester, and we look forward to welcoming over 400 athletes from throughout Europe to our beautiful city. This is a fantastic opportunity for basketball and for Worcester.”