Hoop dreams

PUBLISHED: 11:17 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 13:27 04 May 2010

TAKING AIM: Sarah Burrett tries out the facilities at Witchford Village’s College’s fitness centre.
Photo: HELEN DRAKE

TAKING AIM: Sarah Burrett tries out the facilities at Witchford Village's College's fitness centre. Photo: HELEN DRAKE

Basketball star Sarah Burrett can now set her sights on the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 after Witchford Village College became a member of the British Olympic Passport Scheme this week. The scheme recognises centres which assist elite athletes in the run-

Basketball star Sarah Burrett can now set her sights on the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 after Witchford Village College became a member of the British Olympic Passport Scheme this week.

The scheme recognises centres which assist elite athletes in the run-up to the next Games, and Sarah will be able to train there free of charge as she prepares for the Games.

Sarah, 22, moved to Sutton last summer and sees the Witchford gym as vital to her training regime. She said: "It makes a massive difference. Having something like this here is a great help to me.

"I'm just working out a training schedule with my coach, but I know I can use the court on Monday evenings and will be in the gym two or three times a week as well."

Sarah, a T12 incomplete athelete who plays for Force, based at Stanmore, near London, was first selected for the women's wheelchair basketball team at 16. She was part of both the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 teams as a point-guard. Although the women's team failed to qualify for the World Championships in Holland in July, Sarah's next target will be the Europeans in Germany next year.

Sarah, who studied business and sports science at Brunel University, west London, has to raise funds to compete herself and she said: "There's never a constant supply of money from anywhere so to have something like this here is great."

Dave Smith, director of sport at Witchford Village College, added: "Sarah's involvement with us raises the profile of the college and it's nice to have a certificate from the British Olympic Association acknowledging that we are a part of the Passport Scheme.

"All our machines in the gym are accessible to wheelchair users and having someobody of Sarah's profile here shows how inclusive we are.

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