Watford's wheelchair basketball paralympian set for european championships this weekend (From Watford Observer)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Watford’s Paralympian Helen Freeman set for Women’s U25 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships this weekend
Watford’s Paralympian Helen Freeman is in Stoke Mandeville Stadium today and tomorrow on the hunt for her second European medal of 2013 when she captains Great Britain at The Women’s U25 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships, supported by the Federation of Small Businesses (16th-17th August 2013).
With age-old rivals in the form of the Netherlands and Germany, Freeman will be looking to build on last month’s success at the senior European Championships in Frankfurt which saw her play a crucial role as the Standard Life GB Women’s Team battled their way to bronze and a highly coveted spot in next year’s World Championships.
At only 23, Freeman - who currently combines a busy training schedule with studying at the University of Illinois in America - will be the oldest player in the GB U25 Team - the youngest aged just 14.
But with a bronze medal from the U25 World Championships in 2011 and two Paralympics (2008, 2012), one senior World Championship, and four senior European Championships to her name, Freeman will bring an abundance of experience to the up and coming team.
Freeman said: "It is a fantastic feeling to be selected. Some of the best junior players in the world will be at this tournament so it will be great to test ourselves against them.
"It is particularly special for me to be captain of the team as I plan to mentor the younger athletes on our team on the realities international basketball and bring the best out of their games as well as my own. We all learnt a great deal from the Junior Worlds in 2011 and so are confident of success here at the Europeans."
GB U25 Coach Mat Foden said: "We have six of the team from the U25 World’s two years ago and six new faces playing in their first U25 tournament, so it’s great we have athletes coming through our system. Selections are always difficult, but we looked at the line-ups we are likely to play and it came down to who best suited those line-ups.
"We know both Germany and The Netherlands are dominant on the senior world stage in the women’s game, so we’re looking forward to matching our young talent up against their stars of the future.
"Without the support that the FSB are providing, some of the players wouldn’t be able to gain this international experience which will be crucial as we continue to build for the next three years and beyond."
Norman Lay, from the Federation of Small Businesses, which supports this week’s event, said: "Helen is a safe pair of hands with bags of experience which will really help the younger members of the side. She has excelled at championship after championship.
"The FSB is delighted to be supporting the Women's U25 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships 2013.
"As a long-term supporter of women’s wheelchair basketball, it’s great to help stage a competition that will only help the GB side further improve its game and raise the profile of such a deserving sport and the athletes involved.
"The FSB has long-championed the rights and demands of small businesses and the self-employed; we’re proud to be backing the best of British and hope that the GB Team can make it high up into the medals."
Comments are closed on this article.