Former Bristol Academy of Sport members Ibs Diallo and Will Bayley ready for Paralympic Games in London
10:12am Thursday 30th August 2012 in Gloucestershire Sport
TWO former Bristol Academy of Sport stars are looking to shine at the Paralympics in London.
Ibs Diallo will represent the Great Britain football team, while Will Bayley is looking to strike table tennis gold.
Diallo, 19, from Kingswood in Bristol, went on tour to Italy with the England College’s FA National squad in May.
Following the trial, he was classed with category eight cerebral palsy, but he took a positive approach to his diagnosis before being called up for the Paralympics.
Diallo is utilising a personal fitness programme that South Gloucestershire and Stroud College’s Strength and Conditioning coach, Graham Williams, created to ensure he remains at the peak of physical fitness and participated in training sessions with the Male Football Academy last month before joining the Paralympic squad.
He said: “I am really looking forward to representing Great Britain in the London 2012 Paralympics.
“I am particularly relishing the chance to gain revenge against Brazil in our first group game, after our recent loss to them in the final of the Paralympic World Cup.”
Bayley is one of 18 players who have qualified to represent their country in table tennis at the Paralympic Games.
When he was diagnosed with cancer at the age of eight, his grandmother bought him a table tennis table to help him through his recovery. He took to the game quickly and began playing competitively aged 12.
Bayley joined SGS College, formerly known as Filton College, in 2007, competing in class six.
His academy training helped his mobility and he was reclassified to class seven. Academy coaches, Kevin Satchell and Choi Sze To, had no doubt that he could excel to become a top international player.
Bayley entered the Beijing Paralympics in 2008 but missed his gold medal dream after losing to then World number one, Jochen Wollmert.
After quickly climbing the rankings, Bayley moved to the number one spot in January this year and is now the favourite to win gold in London.
Choi Sze said: “We at the Academy have no doubt that Bayley will win gold with his experience in Beijing 2008 combined with his determination. Myself and Kevin hope to witness this important moment.”