Archers, shooters and goalball players all on target as ParalympicsGB announces further 30 athletes
about a year ago
The BPA today announced the 30 British athletes who will compete for ParalympicsGB in Archery, Shooting and women’s Goalball at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The athletes selected include shooter Di Coates, who will be the most experienced member of the ParalympicsGB team in London. Coates has competed at every Paralympic Games since the 1984 Stoke Mandeville games – a record which means she is likely to be the only member of either ParalympicsGB or Team GB who has experience of a home Games.
Talking today of her selection Di, a Sydney gold medallist and former world record holder, said:
“I am very honoured to find out today that I have been selected for my eighth Paralympic Games. To compete at a Paralympic Games is the pinnacle of any athlete’s career and I am so pleased to have achieved this once again. If anyone had told me all those years ago that I would be preparing to compete in my eighth Paralympics, I’d have laughed, but here I am and I cannot wait to get out there again.
"The Games has changed so much in the last 30 years and competing again on home soil will be very special.”Di Coates
Today’s announcement also includes 63-year-old archer Kate Murray, who looks likely to be the oldest British competitor in London and was born just a month after the original 1948 Stoke Mandeville Games, the precursor to the Paralympic Games.
Kate expressed her delight at selection, saying: "I am thrilled to be taking part in the London 2012 Paralympic Games - it's my second Paralympics, and while going to Beijing four years ago was a special moment, being involved in an event like this in your home country is as good as it gets. It's going to be a wonderful experience, and the atmosphere will be terrific. What makes this extra special for me is that I was born in Woolwich, where the Paralympic archery tournament will be taking place at the Royal Artillery Barracks. Not only that, the competition gets underway on August the 30th - my birthday!"
"“With just under 100 days to go, it is an exciting moment to be announcing another 30 members of ParalympicsGB."Craig Hunter
ParalympicsGB Chef de Mission Craig Hunter commented:It is a reflection of all the hard work that these athletes have put in over the last four years that we are in a position to announce so many more shooters and such a large archery team for London, following such strong performances on the international stage since Beijing. To also be in a position to announce a women’s Goalball team is fantastic.
“It really feels now as though the team is starting to take shape and I am confident that all these athletes will make Britain proud this summer.”
Amongst the 12-strong shooting team is Beijing gold medallist Matt Skelhon, this time around without the trademark Mohican haircut he sported in Beijing
Pasan Kularatne said: “Disability Target Shooting Great Britain are extremely proud that 12 shooters will be representing ParalympicsGB in London, a threefold increase on the four athletes who competed in 2008. The programme has undergone massive growth in this cycle. While new athletes have been identified and developed into world class competitors, the experienced shooters in the squad have all stepped up their performances in response. We are therefore confident of strong performances in London to underpin our eventual goal of becoming one of the dominant nations in Paralympic shooting.”
At Paralympic level, Archery has been on the competition schedule since 1960, but the team at GB Archery and ParalympicsGB believe that the team announced today is the strongest ever to compete.
The team includes Beijing gold medallist Danielle Brown, who is believed to be the first ever disabled athlete to win a gold medal for Team England at the Commonwealth Games in a non-disabled event, and John Cavanagh who won gold in Athens.
“I'm delighted to have secured my place at the Paralympic Games, and am really excited to be taking part in what will be a fantastic summer of sport. The Paralympics is THE event to be involved with, and when it's in your own country, well, it just doesn't get any better."Danielle Brown
Danielle Brown said: "I will be going to the Games as the defending champion, but the competition gets tougher every year, and the standards are rising all the time, which means I have to work harder to make sure I keep ahead of the chasing pack.
"I had a bit of a wake up call at the Test event at the Royal Artillery Barracks, when I was beaten in the final and though I was disappointed with myself for losing it actually did me a favour, because it has now inspired me to work even harder to make sure that doesn't happen when the real thing takes place later in the year.”
“We have a very strong squad of 13 international class archers who all came through a tough selection process, and I am extremely confident of our prospects at the Games,” said Archery GB Paralympic Head Coach Tim Hazell.
Also announced today are the five athletes who will comprise the women’s Goalball team. A British Goalball team returns to the Paralympic fold after a 12 year absence.
The women’s team have just returned from Malmo, in Sweden, where they were competing in an international tournament featuring 14 nations. The team finished fifth, including an outstanding opening performance against Sweden, beating them 4-0. The result against the host nation was particularly sweet given Great Britain had been beaten 1-2 by them at the London 2012 test event back in December 2011.
Dawn Newbery, Performance Director for Goalball GB said: “Selection today shows the strong development that the women’s squad has made, especially over the last six months. They are fitter and stronger scoring more goals in open play. We also have a greater strength in depth across the squad as shown when beating Japan 3-0 at the weekend when we were missing a leading player. Goalball is the only team sport for women who are visually impaired. London 2012 provides a wonderful opportunity to showcase what an exciting sport it is with its blend of strategy and power”.
Following selection one of the next stages on the road to London 2012 for the athletes is the delivery of their kit. UPS will be supporting ParalympicsGB by coordinating the delivery of London 2012 team kits to Paralympic athletes across the UK. In this extensive logistical operation UPS will be warehousing, packing and delivering over 27,000 items to 300 Paralympic athletes at training locations up and down the country. Then ahead of the team's arrival to the Paralympic Village, UPS will collect all the kit and deliver it to each athlete's room ensuring a comfortable and easy move into the village for the home team. UPS are the Official Logistics and Express Delivery Supporter of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Today’s announcement of an additional 30 athletes brings the total number of athletes in ParalympicsGB to 149.
The full list of athletes is:
John Stubbs – Warrington (born Manchester)
Richard Hennahane – Ellesmere Port, Cheshire (born Chatham)
Danielle Brown – Telford, Shropshire (born Steeton, Yorkshire)
Mel Clarke – Worcester (born Norwich)
Pippa Britton – Newport (born Addlestone)
Phil Bottomley – born Bradford
Kenny Allen – Wymondam, Norfolk (born Bedford)
Murray Elliot – Bo’ness, West Lothian (born Motherwell)
Paul Brown - Hertford
Sharon Vennard – Newtownards, County Down (born Exmouth)
Leigh Walmsley – Warrington, Cheshire
John Cavanagh - London
Kate Murray – Hawick, Roxburghshire (born Woolwich)
Georgina Bullen – Royston, Hertfordshire (born Cambridge)
Jessica Luke - Stafford
Amy Ottaway – Norwich, Norfolk (born Kings Lynn)
Louise Simpson – Southend, Essex (born Leeds)
Anna Sharkey – Southend, Essex (born High Wycombe)
James Bevis – Hereford
Adrian Bunclark – Kingsteignton, Devon
Ryan Cockbill – Birmingham
Richard Davies – Stourbridge (born Birmingham)
Adam Fontain – Stourbridge (born Basildon)
Ben Jesson – Crawley (born Redhill)
Nathan Milgate – Fleet, Hampshire (born Canterbury)
Matt Skelhon – Peterborough
Karen Butler – Bristol
Georgina Callingham – Bourne End, Buckinghamshire (born Maidenhead)
Di Coates – Yateley, Hampshire (born Farnborough)
Mandy Pankhurst – Ash, Surrey (born Haslemere)