As the world marks just over a year to go until the Rio 2016 Paralympics, the 28th August – 6th September will see Europe’s leading wheelchair basketball nations descend upon Worcestershire to battle it out for both the prestigious European Championship title and a highly coveted place at the Brazil Games.
With everything to play for at the stunning University of Worcester Arena and a range of great value tickets available for all 73 action-packed matches – split across 33 sessions, the European Championships offers the West Midlands an unmissable opportunity to get closer to the action and support the very best in Europe.
Indeed, Great Britain will be amongst the 19 teams competing in the continent’s premier wheelchair basketball event with the GB Men’s Team the defending European Champions and the GB Women’s Team the current Bronze Medal holders.
The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships forms part of UK Sport’s National Lottery funded #EveryRoadtoRio programme, which targets events that will support the nation’s athletes in their preparation and qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
To deliver the event, British Wheelchair Basketball (BWB) has also teamed up with key partner the University of Worcester with invaluable support from the Worcestershire County Council, Worcester City Council and Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership.
Tickets to this world class event are available from the Championship website www.euro2015.uk or through the Box Office on 0844 888 9991.
British Wheelchair Basketball CEO Charlie Bethel said: “The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships provide the opportunity for people to relive the experience of London 2012. Held within the intimate venue of the University of Worcester Arena, the Championships promises a better spectator experience where fans will be even closer to the action.
“We’re very pleased to be able to offer the tickets as such value, enabling us to provide a window into our spectacular Paralympic sport in Worcester as we build up to the summer Paralympic Games in Rio.
“Whilst we have over 10,000 tickets available for the Championships, like London we’re already seeing considerable interest in the GB Games, Finals, and games on weekends and evenings. We’re sure with support from the people of Worcestershire, our members, and sports fans across the nation, we’ll be able to provide our teams with the support that will see them qualify for Rio and attain our best possible performances.”
Simon Morton, Director of Major Events and International Relations at UK Sport, said: “The #EveryRoadtoRio campaign is about giving people the chance to see world class sport and help our talented athletes to qualify and prepare for Rio 2016.
“The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships is a key qualification opportunity for the GB team and we need you to come along and support them as they strive to make it to Rio.
“Thanks to National Lottery funding we have been able to strategically target more than 30 events for #EveryRoadtoRio which can directly lead to 95 qualification places for GB athletes with more than 300 additional opportunities to gather ranking points.”
Mick Donovan, Head of the University of Worcester’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, added: “The University of Worcester Arena is a truly wonderful facility which has already brought numerous national and international sporting fixtures to Worcester.
“The great attendances and level of enthusiasm that we have seen shows the fantastic appetite for high level sport, and we are delighted to be bringing the continent’s best wheelchair basketball players and teams together for what promises to be an unforgettable European Championships.”
Gary Woodman, Executive Director of the Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership said: “We look forward to welcoming visitors from far and wide to Worcestershire for the Championships. We know such high profile sporting events are a boost to our businesses, for example, last year’s Tour of Britain, brought nearly £1m into the local economy. We would also encourage local people to take the opportunity to see this sport played to world class standard here in Worcester.”
Clare Marchant, Chief Executive of Worcestershire County Council said: "The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships is a great example of World Class Worcestershire. The fact that the GB Team are using the university's arena is a credit to the sporting prowess we have here in the county and to the University of Worcester. We are thrilled to be able to welcome the world to Worcestershire and I have no doubt that local businesses and the community at large will embrace the games and make them a huge success."
Duncan Sharkey, MD of Worcester City Council said: “We are very much looking forward to welcoming newcomers to Worcester as we host this prestigious international event for the first time.
“I am sure these games will be really compelling and inspirational viewing for spectators – I urge you to make a date to see them with family and friends, and to book your tickets now!”
Mike Ashton, CEO of Herefordshire and Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce said: “The European Wheelchair Basketball Championships will be one of the biggest sporting spectacles in the country this year and, without doubt, the biggest in the Midlands. As a qualifying competition for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, we will be lucky enough to see some of the sports most talented athletes battling tooth and nail to win. Beyond being a fantastic sporting occasion, it will showcase the city and county to visitors from all over Europe, helping build more momentum around the World Class Worcestershire campaign.”