GB Wheelchair Rugby has today announced its team to compete in the 2019 IWRF European Championships being held in Vejle, Denmark between 7-11 August. GB are the reigning European Champions and are favourites to retain their title having just returned from Alabama, USA where they defeated Australia and the USA to win the gold medal at the Lakeshore Quad Nations tournament.
Head Coach Paul Shaw is now well advanced in shaping his 10 person squad for the 2020 Paralympic Games and this tournament represents a further opportunity for athletes to stake their claim for a Tokyo place. The team includes Johnny Coggan, Ryan Cowling, Jamie Stead and Jim Roberts, all of whom won best in their classification at the Lakeshore tournament. Chris Ryan returns to the team following an injury which prevented him travelling to the USA, and Afghanistan veteran Stuart Robinson also makes the team.
With the gold and silver medal winners also gaining automatic qualification for the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo this will be a hard fought tournament though with GB having just increased its world ranking to 4th it is hard to see any other nation spoiling their recent run of success. GB’s opening game will be on Wednesday 7th August against Switzerland ranked 15th in the world.
Head Coach Paul Shaw said: ‘ This tournament has an added significance because the winners and runners up qualify for the 2020 Paralympic Games and we want to nail our place at the first opportunity. We have selected a squad to do that but we need to be clinical in our performances – the likes of France, Sweden and Denmark are more than capable of beating us and we need to maintain our discipline and focus.’
David Pond, Chief Executive of Great Britain Wheelchair Rugby, said: ‘ Everything we do now is about building towards Tokyo 2020 and this tournament is another important step on the road. I’m excited by the way the athletes in this squad want to play for one another and accept responsibility for their performances on court – their improvement over the last 12 months has been impressive, particularly when you consider that the loss of UK Sport funding means that the performance programme is limited in the support it provides. I am hugely grateful to the many individuals and sponsors who are funding this team especially our recently appointed principal sponsor ISPS Handa.
GB Wheelchair Rugby Team Selected for 2019 IWRF European Championships
|Ryan Cowling||1.0||West Coast Crash||Matlock|
|Nick Cummins||1.5||Leicester Tigers||Leicester|
|Gavin Walker||2.0||Leicester Tigers||Rotherham|
|Jamie Stead||2.5||Leicester Tigers||Normanton|
|Aaron Phipps||3.5||Solent Sharks||Southampton|
|Stuart Robinson||3.5||West Coast Crash||Morecambe|
For further information or to to arrange interviews with players, please contact David Pond on 07971495990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org