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Blend of youth and experience selected for women’s Wheelchair Basketball team for Rio 2016

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on 13-05-2016 08:50

Meet the 12 athletes who will compete on the women’s Wheelchair Basketball team at Rio 2016.

The line-up includes stalwarts of the team Clare Griffiths (nee Strange), who has competed at every Games since Sydney 2000 and Helen Freeman, who played wheelchair basketball on an athletic scholarship in the USA before returning to join the team’s centralised training programme at the University of Worcester to make her third Games appearance. 

London 2012 competitors Jude Hamer, Amy Conroy and Laurie Williams also return to the fold for Rio. 

They will be joined by teenager Katie Morrow, the youngest athlete on the team at just 16 years of age, as well as Robyn Love, who made a meteoric rise through the ranks to represent her country after discovering wheelchair basketball during London 2012. Team veteran Clare Griffiths was a keen horsewoman before her accident and has been playing wheelchair basketball for almost 20 years. She commented on her selection today:

"I got really quite emotional when I found out I’d made the team, it is just so exciting.” Clare Griffiths

“Rio 2016 will be my fifth Paralympic Games but I never get tired of hearing the news that I have made a Paralympic team. I got really quite emotional when I found out I’d made the team, it is just so exciting”, she said. 

“To compete at this level for your country is something that so few athletes get to do, and to know that you are one of those who will be getting on that flight and pulling on the coveted ParalympicsGB team top is an absolute honour. I can’t put it into words and I can’t wait to get out there and compete.”

Selected for her first Paralympic Games, teenager Charlotte Moore has been playing since she was eight years old. Moore said today:

“I have always dreamed of competing at the Paralympic Games but in was only in the last few years that I realised that it might happen. I’ve worked so hard and now it hardly even feels real! I think the anticipation of competing in Rio will continue to drive me to be the best I can be at the Games  – I’m looking forward to it already.”

"I’ve worked so hard and now it hardly even feels real!" Charlotte Moore

Moore and team-mate Sophie Carrigill are graduates of the BPA’s Paralympic Inspiration Programme, which saw them attend London 2012 as spectators in order to soak up the atmosphere and learn about what it takes to compete at the Games.

Carrigill said today:

“Getting to experience London 2012 as part of the Paralympic Inspiration Programme really inspired me to reach Rio. I have trained so hard in the last few years and now I want to do my very best this summer and make my family and the nation proud.”

Carrigill co-captains the team alongside Helen Freeman.
The women’s wheelchair basketball team has had a run of successful results recently, including a 5th place finish at the World Championships in 2014 – their highest ever position.

“This is one of the strongest teams I think we have ever fielded in women’s wheelchair basketball." Penny Briscoe

Penny Briscoe MBE, ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission for Rio 2016, said:

“This is one of the strongest teams I think we have ever fielded in women’s wheelchair basketball and I am looking forward to seeing how they get on at the Rio Paralympic Games. 

“This is a sport that combines all the speed and energy with sharp manoeuvring and plenty of spills – it is always incredibly exciting for the public to watch and I’m confident it will be again.”

Paul Davies, Performance Director at British Wheelchair Basketball, added:

“To compete at the Paralympic Games is one of the highest honours an athlete can receive: these athletes have worked incredibly hard for years and I am delighted that they have reached this point in their sporting careers. In the years since London 2012, the GB Women have earned their place within the world’s top five teams and, building upon an extremely strong preparation programme, are set to achieve the best ever Paralympic performance in Rio.”

Today’s announcement brings the number of selected athletes to a total of 50, across the sports of sailing, judo, table tennis, powerlifting wheelchair rugby and wheelchair basketball.

Selected athletes (wheelchair basketball - women):

Katie Morrow (4.5)
Hometown: Country Antrim, Northern Ireland               
Training base: County Antrim / Worcester

Amy Conroy (4.0)
Hometown: Norwich             
Training base: Worcester

Jude Hamer (4.0)
Hometown: Exeter, Devon         
Training base: Worcester

Helen Freeman (4.0)
Hometown: Watford            
Training base: Worcester

Robyn Love (3.5)
Hometown:Ayr, Scotland                
Training base: Worcester

Jordanna Bartlett (3.0)
Hometown: Greater Manchester            
Training base: Worcester

Leah Evans (2.5)
Hometown: Castleford, Yorkshire                
Training base: Worcester

Laurie Williams (2.5)
Hometown: Greater Manchester     
Training base: Worcester

Joy Haizelden (2.5)
Hometown: Southampton         
Training base: Worcester

Clare Griffiths (1.5)
Hometown: Buckinghamshire         
Training base: Worcester

Sophie Carrigill (1.0)
Hometown: Wakefield         
Training base: Worcester

Charlotte Moore (1.0)
Hometown: Coventry            
Training base: Coventry / Worcester

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