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High praise for University Arena's role in disability sport

Worcester Editorial 9th Dec, 2013 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

A LEADING figure in disability sport believes the city’s university is playing a key role in building on the success of the 2012 Paralympic Games.

Penny Briscoe, performance director of British Paralympic Association, was speaking at Sports Fest which was held at the University of Worcester Arena last month.

Hundreds of people turned out for the two-day event to try out a range of disability sports including goalball, boccia and wheelchair basketball.

Ms Briscoe said last year’s Paralympic Games created a seminal shift in perception of disabled sports as it attracted almost 40 million viewers, but she urged visitors as well as students who were taking the university’s Sports Coaching Science with Disability Sport degree, to continue to build on the Paralympic legacy.

“I got involved in Paralympic sport in 2001 and at that time there were very few opportunities to make a career in disability sport,” she said.

“However, during the last decade, there has been a real shift and London 2012 was a seminal moment in changing profiles and perceptions of Paralympic athletes.

“But now we must grasp this opportunity with both hands. The fact that the University of Worcester is running courses and modules with a focus on disability sport is fantastic and to hear that they are so well subscribed is even better.”

Glyn Harding, principal lecturer in Sports Coaching Science, added: “To be able to listen to Penny Briscoe and a host of other inspirational athletes, coaches and National Governing Body representatives was a great opportunity, and one that the students grasped with enthusiasm.

“These students are truly inspired to continue the legacy of the 2012 Paralympic Games and will emerge as a driving force in coaching, teaching and administration in the future.”

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