The Championships welcomes players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to play in a variety of categories including wheelchair users, standing disabled players, dwarf players and players with intellectual disabilities. Denny Vettom (pictured), a member of Stoke Mandeville Stadium’s very own Phoenix Badminton Club, is one of the favourites for gold in the men’s W2 Wheelchair classification.
Denny said, “Stoke Mandeville is world famous as the birthplace of disability sport and home to the Paralympics. The Four Nations Disabled Badminton Championships is the first of its kind to be held at Stoke Mandeville Stadium and it will be a great opportunity to raise the profile of the sport and take it to a wider audience. I can’t wait to go for gold on my home court.”
Tom Webster, Disability Manager for BADMINTON England said, “I’m confident we can make the 2011 English leg of the Four Nations Disabled Badminton Championships series the biggest and best yet. With our clear Paralympic ambitions for Rio in 2016, Stoke Mandeville Stadium is the ideal place to take our sport and the Four Nations series, to the next level.”
It is expected that over 120 competitors will enter the Championship in May, looking to boost their ranking in the last domestic event of the season before the World Parabadminton Championships being held in Guatemala, Central America in Autumn 2011.
Ian Seabrook, Stoke Mandeville Stadium’s Business Development Manager said, “We are thrilled to be involved in such a fantastic sporting event and can’t wait to start welcoming players from across the British Isles and Ireland. Disabled badminton is a great way to enjoy sport and stay active and we hope that this Championship will encourage more people to come down to the Stadium and give it a go.”
Martin McElhatton, Chief Executive for WheelPower-British Wheelchair Sport, owners of Stoke Mandeville Stadium and the national charity and disability sports organisation for wheelchair sport added, “Badminton is an exciting sport for people with disabilities and WheelPower is keen to see different sports showcased here at Stoke Mandeville Stadium so that young and newly disabled people can have a wide choice about which sports they can play. WheelPower has supported the development of disability badminton locally and is keen to see the sport grow in the future.”
This event is free and open to the public. For more information please email Tom Webster, Disability Manager at BADMINTON England, TomWebster@badmintonengland.co.uk