Tuesday, 29 April 2014
A University of Worcester student has been named captain of the Great Britain women’s wheelchair basketball team ahead of the sport’s forthcoming World Championships.
Psychology student Sophie Carrigill, originally from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, made her major tournament bow at last year’s European Championships, helping Britain claim a bronze medal in Frankfurt.
The 20 year-old will now lead the team - coached by Miles Thompson – at the World Championships in Toronto in June, where they will initially face China, Japan, Brazil, hosts Canada and Olympic champions Germany in the group stages.
She says: “I was in complete shock when I first found out that I had been named captain, and I still don’t think it’s sunk in yet. I am just honoured to have been given the opportunity.
“It’s such an exciting new challenge for me and I hope that I can help the team move forwards and be successful.”
Great Britain will be looking to improve on their previous finish of sixth in the 2010 tournament, and Sophie believes that the have a realistic chance of doing so.
“As a team, we are hoping to get to the semi-finals and then take things from there,” she explains. “As a captain and a player though, my goal is to be able to support and encourage the team and give us the best chance of achieving our goals.”
Sophie has already enjoyed success this year; she was part of the Worcester team who were crowned University Wheelchair Basketball Champions after winning the inaugural event at the University of Worcester Arena in March.
The University Arena is the training base for both the men’s and women’s national teams, and first-year student Sophie says that the surroundings and the ethos at the University have enabled her to develop her game.
“Being based at Worcester has given me a great opportunity to be able to train with the team every day and to be fully involved with the centralised programme,” she explains. “Trying to juggle work and training is tough, but there is a lot of support at the University if you feel you need it.”
Mick Donovan, Head of the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, says: “We are absolutely thrilled to hear the news that Sophie will be captain of the Great Britain team.
“The University is extremely proud to see one of our own students achieve this honour. Sophie is an excellent student and athlete, a great role model and I am sure she will make an inspirational captain.”
Miles Thompson adds: "Sophie has been selected as captain as she is a strong, steady constant who leads by example."
Photo courtesy of Paul Beard.