NATIONAL wheelchair basketball champions from the University of Worcester are hosting a fund-raising event to help cover their travel costs to Manchester for a chance to retain their title.
The University’s Wheelchair Basketball Society are teaming up with fellow students and staff to push wheelchairs on treadmills for up to eight hours, in a bid to raise £1,000 to cover the team’s travel and accommodation expenses at the British Wheelchair Basketball University Championships.
The ‘Wheel to Victory’ event will take place this Friday (February 24) and will see able bodied and disabled athletes cover the distance between them on the specialised treadmills, in the hope covering the 111-mile distance from Worcester to Manchester.
Twenty per cent of the money raised will go to the Red Cross, in recognition of their loan of the five wheelchairs being used as part of the challenge.
Emma Graham, a society member who is her final year of a sports coaching science with disability sport degree, said: “This is our only tournament all year and that’s why we want to go and compete against other teams from across the UK.
“We want to bring the title back to Worcester and it would be a good recognition for our hard work.
“We’ve set ourselves quite a big challenge. Because it’s a treadmill, it makes you work. It’s like pushing on a thick carpet so it’s going to be challenging.
“We’ve been training all year for this tournament, so we wanted to lead by example and show we’re willing to put in the miles.”
Mick Donovan, deputy pro vice chancellor for inclusive sport and educational development at Worcester, said: “In recent years, our wheelchair basketball club has certainly gained an excellent reputation for having one of the leading university programmes in the UK.
“This fund-raising challenge demonstrates their commitment to make their mark once again and we really wish them well.”
The British Wheelchair Basketball University Championships takes place on Saturday, March 4 and Sunday, March 5.
Visit www.gofundme.com/help-get-teamworc-to-uni-champs to donate or for more information.