The draw for the IBSA Blind Football European Championships 2015, the biggest ever regional event in the sport, will take place tomorrow.
Ten teams go into the pot for the draw, which will be made by IPC President Phil Craven at the Royal National College for the Blind
(RNC) in Hereford, England, host city for the event. The championships will be the biggest ever European blind football tournament, surpassing the 2009 Europeans in Nantes, France, where nine countries competed.
Countries taking part in the championships are (in order of ranking in the IBSA Blind Football Ranking Table): France, Spain, Turkey, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, Italy, Greece, Belgium and Poland.
The 2015 championships are the 10th edition of the tournament, held in a total of seven countries to date. The event will return to the United Kingdom following a gap of 12 years since the championships visited in Manchester in 2003.
Reigning champions Spain will be looking to regain the title they took last year in Italy, but will face a strong challenge from France and a number of other countries. Competition is sure to be fierce as slots for two teams for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro are up for grabs.
Belgium and Poland will take part in the European Championships for the first time.
The draw takes place on a big day for the RNC, with two other major events taking place. The College officially launches the UK’s first Sports Academy for people with visual impairments, offering a variety of sports to students, many of whom have never been involved in physical education at school. Phil Craven will be joined by Patron for the RNC Sports Academy Dave Clarke, former captain of England and Team GB Blind Football squads. Demonstrations of blind football, Goalball and VI golf will be given by RNC students, confirming the Academy’s ambition as a national centre for sporting progression.
To finish the day, recent and current students will join Phil Craven for the annual Celebration of Achievement; a time when each student’s contribution to the College is noted, awards are given and certificates bestowed.
“I am really looking forward to my visit to RNC for the Celebration of Achievement in November this year,” enthused the IPC President. “I can’t wait to meet the inspiring individuals at the College and learn about their future aspirations, which I hope that I can contribute to.”
For further information about the courses on offer at RNC, including the Sports Academy
, or the IBSA Blind Football European Championships 2015, email email@example.com