THE NEXT generation of wheelchair basketball stars in Great Britain will descend on Worcester for the Lord’s Taverners Junior League Finals on Saturday.
The University of Worcester Arena will stage the event which will see 16 teams, split into two divisions, battle it out for the under 15 and under 19 titles.
It is widely acknowledged as the largest league of its kind in the world, and responsible for honing the skills of many of our current GB Paralympians.
Rio stars including Gregg Warburton, Phil Pratt, Sophie Carrigill and Amy Conroy are just four of the fifteen GB players who have previously competed in the prestigious Lord’s Taverners Junior League.
Jacqueline Scoins-Cass MBE, team manager and Tornado Kings U15’s coach, was delighted to qualify through to the 2017 finals.
“The Lord’s Taverners Junior League is essential to nurturing young wheelchair basketball talent into the sport,” she said.
“We need to keep looking to the next generation and constantly provide playing opportunities to engage them with the sport.
“These young people will aspire to be our GB athletes, team coaches, players and team managers of the future.
“We are working hard to attract young players to our teams – Junior League provides our players with a competitive playing environment against their peers.
“Our qualification to the finals was gained through hard work and skill by all of our players.
“I would like to thank them, their families and all the volunteers for the weekends dedicated to their sport.”
Nicky Pemberton, director of charitable programmes for Lord’s Taverners, added: “It is a real privilege for Lord’s Taverners to support British Wheelchair Basketball’s Junior Programme.
“We are extremely proud to be able to offer junior players of all ages and ability the support to be able to access this phenomenal sport.
“It seems incredible that we are once again approaching the Junior League finals in Worcester.
“We are keen to address any barriers facing young people who want to access sport – our sports wheelchair programme offers young people the opportunity to apply for funding to purchase a chair, either directly or via their club.”