By James Crook at Swiss Cottage Sports Centre in London

174275494 1July 23 - British Wheelchair Basketball today unveiled the Countess of Wessex as its Royal Patron in a ceremony attended by coaching staff, officials and members of senior and youth squads.

The Countess was introduced to members of the British men's squad that recently returned from Frankfurt, where they successfully defended their European title with an unbeaten record, and the women's team that finished in third place at the European Championships earlier this month.

Young players also showed off their skills and were introduced to the Countess, before she was presented with a signed wheelchair basketball jersey.

BWBP0200-Countess-of-Wessex-Presented-with-GB-ShirtThe Countess of Wessex was presented a signed British wheelchair basketball jersey as she was announced as a Royal Patron

"We are very honoured that the Countess of Wessex has decided to become our Patron and give us her support," British Wheelchair Basketball chairman Malcolm Tarkenter said.

"It is fantastic news for the sport and it will certainly help to maintain the continued legacy from London 2012 encouraging more people to become involved with the sport not only playing but volunteering, coaching and spectating."

Wheelchair basketball is one of many sports that has seen a tremendous boost in popularity following London 2012, with a rise in participation of 25 per cent being recorded by the national governing body.

174273550The Countess brushed up on her shooting technique with the help of Britain's youth players and British Wheelchair Basketball chairman Malcolm Tarkenter

The Countess spoke of how she developed a passion for the sport after seeing it played at the London 2012 Paralympic Games and of her hopes of seeing wheelchair basketball continue its development through her appointment as Royal Patron.

The senior teams also delivered a coaching session to young players, hoping to inspire the next generation of British wheelchair basketball players.

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