The British Sledge Hockey Association (BSHA) has announced today the 11 players who will represent the Great Britain Sledge Hockey team for the 2015 World Championships (Pool B), to be held in Ostersund from the 16th to 22th March, aiming to secure promotion to Pool A.
Since missing out on qualifying for the last winter Paralympics in Sochi in 2014, the BSHA has continued with a robust development programme and expanded its national league structure supported by committed stakeholders.
Over the past four years the GB team has risen consistently up the world rankings culminating in winning a bronze medal at the last IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championships (Pool B) held in Japan in 2013.
In order to gain promotion to Pool A Sledge Hockey GB must finish second and will be competing against hosts, Sweden as well as South Korea, Poland, Austria and Slovakia.
The selected athletes are;
- Darren Brown
- Tyler Christopher
- Jon Le Galloudec
- Bryan Hackworth
- Ian Warner
- Karl Nicholson
- Matt Woollias
- Matt Clarkson
- Rob Gaze
- Scott Turner
- Paul Furber
There is no shortage of international experience in the squad selected which contains 9 members of the GB team which won the Bronze medal at the 2013 World Championships plus two athletes who have competed in at least one Paralympic Games.
Elite Programme Director John Neville said:
“I’m delighted that due to our development programme we are able to send such a talented and experienced group of players to represent our nation at the World Championships. The progress that the squad has achieved over the past few years is really impressive and they now have a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate their progress in Sweden”.
“Under Andrew Linton’s leadership, the squad have developed a very fast, skilful and exciting brand of sledge hockey, which has thrilled crowds and earned plaudits around the world over the last few years. We will continue to give Andrew and his squad our full support to ensure they have every opportunity to perform to their full potential and go onto compete on the greatest sporting stage of all at the Paralympics in 2018.
BSHA Chair, Matt Lloyd added;
“It has been fantastic to see the support Sledge Hockey GB have received and it is important to recognise key stakeholders such as the British Paralympic Association, Disability Sport Wales, English Federation of Disability Sport, UK Sport, Planet Ice, MDSC, Sharegift and of course the Great Britain Supporters Club.”
“We should also recognise that the growth of Sledge Hockey in England wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the County Sports Partnerships aided by Sport England, volunteers, fans, coaches and the players who haven’t been fortunate enough to be selected.”
Head Coach Andrew Linton commented,
“This worlds we are looking to pick up where we left off in Japan, competing for a medal, we feel we had a disappointing Paralympic qualification tournament and want to make amends for that.
The guys, as always, have been working hard on the ice, and are looking forward to competing again. There are no easy games in international sport and Sweden and Korea will be the biggest challenge but every team we play will be wanting the same thing as us which is to win.”
Wish the team good luck! Tweet your good luck messages to @sledgehockey on Twitter using the hashtag #SledgeHockeyGB; #Ostersund2015: or visit the BSHA website at www.sledgehockey.co.uk