A REDDITCH athlete is looking to further raise the profile of disability sports in 2023 as she continues to break new ground on two fronts.
Former Great Britain international wheelchair basketball player Sarah Hope is returning as the Worcester Wolves professional women’s team captain this season after leading them to third place in 2022.
Last season saw the launch of the women’s wheelchair basketball Premier League- the first professional disability sports competition in the UK.
And Sarah followed up her achievement by captaining GB Women’s Para Ice Hockey programme in the sport’s first formal International Paralympic Committee female tournament.
Sarah said: “I’ve been around basketball for a while now but to captain a Women’s Premier League team was just something really different and exciting, and I’m proud of how far the GB women’s Para Ice Hockey team has come in such a short time.”
“I don’t think I’m too biased when I say the Wolves were the most improved team last season so we need to continue to gel and grow as a team, which should then translate into more wins on court.”
Later this month, Sarah will be heading out to Canada for the London Blizzards sledge hockey invitational tournament before returning to play for Worcester Wolves in their first Premier League game against Loughborough Lightning.
And Sarah said she hopes the success of the women’s premier league as well as the GB Para Ice Hockey programme will help raise the profile of disability sport.
“Wheelchair basketball just needs to be seen as a sport in its own right, and not a disabled version of basketball which only happens every four years at the Paralympics.
“We already have a lot of support from the Wolves family and we’ll be doing more work out in the community this year, which will show people that you don’t need to be disabled to watch and appreciate disability sports.”