Inaugural Paralympic team announced

Rowing makes its Paralympic Games debut in Beijing this September and ParalympicsGB
has named the eight-strong squad for the Games. Britain will be represented in all four boat classes at this summer’s Paralympics following British performances at the World Championships in Munich in 2007.

The squad includes current world champion Tom Aggar in the men’s arms only single scull and former world champion, Helene Raynsford, in the women’s arms only single scull.

Twenty-four year-old former rugby player Aggar, made an instant impact on his international debut at the 2007 World Rowing Championships winning gold and setting a world record in the process.  Meanwhile, Raynsford made history by becoming the first ever world champion in the women’s arms only event at the 2006 world championships held at Eton, although she has since had to deal with injuries and illness.

James Morgan has joined the leg, trunk and arms mixed coxed four since GB won a silver medal in this event at the 2007 World Championships, having previously won three world golds.  He has been selected for Beijing alongside 25 year-old Naomi Riches, who is the most experienced member of the crew, having been part of the squad for the last four consecutive world championships. The crew also includes Farnborough’s Vicki Hansford, Kent’s Alastair Mckean with able-bodied cox Alan Sherman completing the crew.

Swansea student James Roberts and Northern Ireland’s Karen Cromie take the final places, competing in the trunk and arms mixed double scull.  Louise Kingsley, GB Paralympic Rowing Team Manager said: ‘Beijing, I’m sure, will be a significant challenge but we are well-prepared and recent training has gone well.  We very much look forward to joining the Paralympic Games family’.

ParalympicsGB Chief Executive Phil Lane said: ‘It’s fantastic to see rowing making its debut at the Paralympic Games. Britain has traditionally been a strong nation in rowing at the Olympics and I look forward to seeing Britain’s Paralympic rowers step up to the plate to continue Britain’s success in this sport.

‘All these rowers have proved themselves to be top athletes on a world stage and therefore stand a good chance of medalling in Beijing. I would like to congratulate them on their achievements so far and welcome them to the ParalympicsGB team.’

The Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games opens on September 6 and closes on September 17. The rowing events at the Games take place at the Shunyi Olympic Rowing Park with the heats scheduled for September 9, repechages on September 10 and finals on September 11.

At the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games, Britain finished second in the medal table with a total of 35 golds, 30 silver and 29 bronze medals. With competitive standards continually rising and the dominant Chinese team taking the home advantage ParalympicsGB recognises that the 2008 Paralympics will be one of its biggest challenges yet.

CREWS LISTS
ADAPTIVE ROWING SQUAD
PARALYMPIC GAMES, BEIJING

WOMEN
Single scull
Helene Raynsford (Guildford RC/Frimley/29.12.79)
Coach:  Chad King

MEN
Single scull
Tom Aggar (Royal Docks/Barnet, London/24.5.84)
Coach: Chad King

MIXED
Mixed adaptive coxed four
Vicki Hansford )Guildford RC/Lewisham/31.10.79)/
Naomi Riches (Marlow RC/Harrow Weald/15.6.83)/
Alastair Mckean (Herne Bay ARC/Whitstable/14.4.79)/
James Morgan (Deal RC/Dover/Deal Walmer & Kingsdown)/
Alan Sherman (Thames Tradesmen/London/22.10.51) (cox)
Coach: Chad King

Double scull
Karen Cromie (Royal Docks BC/Ballinamallard, Co.Fermanagh/
24.9.79)/James Roberts (Swansea/11.5.86)
Coach:  Tom Dyson

CONTACT DETAILS
For media enquiries about GB Rowing please contact:

Caroline Searle

T:  (01225) 443998
M:  (07831) 755351

e:  [email protected]
GB Rowing website www.gbrowing.org.uk – full biogs available here

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