A Canadian Paralympic team have signed up to use facilities in Sheffield to train ahead of the London 2012 games. The sport in question is wheelchair basketball which will use the facilities for the both its men’s and women’s teams.
This agreement will give commercial properties in Sheffield a boost as many people will be inspired to participate more in sport as Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Sheffield Council’s Business Cabinet Member expressed, “It is important for Sheffield to attract pre-Games training camps, both because of the economic boost they bring to the city, and the inspiration they give to people throughout the city to get more involved in sport.” Businesses such as sports shops, gyms and training facilities will all benefit from the Canadians with increased sales and memberships. But also live event commercial properties such as the English Institute of Sport, which host basketball matches will enjoy the advantages with increased spectators.
Paul Zachau, High Performance Director at the Wheelchair Basketball Canada said, “There’s only one year to go now before we’ll be playing in the most important games of our career, so we need to train in the very best facilities and against the best opposition.”
There are in total 20 sports in the London 2012 Paralympic games which include athletics, judo and tennis just to name a few. Wheelchair basketball has been part of the Paralympics since 1960 for men and 1968 for women. The wheelchair basketball tournament will run from 30 August to 8 September 2012 with 264 athletes taking part, which is made up of 22 teams. Tickets for the event will go on sale on 9 September 2011 and are expected to sell quickly due to popularity of the sport, as Gary Verity, Chair of Yorkshire Gold stated, “Wheelchair basketball is one of the most popular Paralympic events.”