Welcome to the IWRF European Championshi Division C. I would like to thank the organising committee, staff, volunteers, sponsors, partners and IWRF officials for their time and commitment in making this event happen. I am so pleased to see these four teams competing. The Czech Republic, Israel and Italy have been developing for several years but are still relatively new.
This is the first IWRF sanctioned event to be held in Spain. As one of the newest countries that has developed wheelchair rugby, I would like to welcome Spain to the wheelchair rugby family.
I had the pleasure of meeting with a representative from the Spanish Sports Federation for People with Physical Disabilities last year in Madrid to hear about their development strategies. I was impressed to see their progress and passion for wheelchair rugby. They now have eight teams spread across Spain, including Barcelona, Zaragoza, Madrid, Vitoria, Valencia, Toledo, Manresa, and Seville. Club teams are competing in a league and the national squad recently travelled to Amsterdam to gain experience playing internationally.
This is a huge achievement and now to see them hosting a Championship is a sign of what I believe is a strong future for the sport in Spain.
My final thanks is to Oviedo and I hope that people will visit to spectate. You will find a dynamic and exciting sport that I know you’ll enjoy. Good luck to all!