Ambassador shoots hoops with Israeli Paralympians

Matthew Gould attempts to compete against the professionals (Photo: Shmulik Ben Assor)

Matthew Gould attempts to compete against the professionals (Photo: Shmulik Ben Assor)

With just over a year to go until London hosts the Paralympic Games, the British ambassador to Israel has tried his luck against the country's wheelchair basketball team.

Matthew Gould was accompanied by some of the Paralympians who are set to represent Israel in next year's games, which kick off on August 29.

He was introduced to a number of top-scoring competitors, including swimmer Yoav Vilenski, who triumphed in six races at last month's European championship in Berlin.

Mr Gould toured the Beit Halochem Centre in Tel Aviv, a rehabilitation and sports facility for Israel's war veterans, and chatted to representatives from the IDF disabled veterans organi s ation and Israel's Paralympic Committee

Mr Gould, who managed to score just once in his basketball game, said after the visit that he knew Israel's Paralympic team members would make their country proud.

"I believe that the way in which a country treats its disabled population says a lot about that country," he said. "I hope the London 2012 Paralympic Games will say a lot that is positive about Britain.

"Israel also has a wonderful history with the Paralympic Games. It was a real pleasure for me to meet some of the really promising talents in the Israeli team."

    Last updated: 3:34pm, August 8 2011