By Carl Jackson 10/08 Updated: 10/08 11:05
BROMSGROVE born Rachel Bragg has described the moment she made Olympic history as ‘electric’.
The 27-year-old, is a proud member of Team GB’s first ever indoor women’s volleyball squad which competed in the group stage of London 2012 at Earl’s Court.
She told the Standard: “The first time you step on the court and hear the first cheer the nerves just melt away. It was amazing. Electric.”
Team GB ultimately fell at the group stage, however they did taste victory marking the team’s first ever Olympic win beating Algeria.
The team was only put together in 2006 and while much of Team GB’s wider success has been attributed to lottery support, the women’s indoor volleyball team had their funding cut in 2010.
After going out doing things such as distance bike rides to pay for training and equipment, the plush surroundings of the Olympic village were something of an eye opener to Rachel and her fellow squad members.
“I don’t know where to begin. Everything from the accommodation to the venue was completely amazing unreal. All I have said this week is amazing. Everything provided is exactly what you would want.”
After spirited showings in their home games hopes are high that the volleyball scene in Britain can kick on.
“People stopped us the other day and said ‘you’re the volleyball team’. That has never happened before. I think what we’ve done helps the sport immensely in this country.”
Currently there is no professional league on home shores with the whole of Team GB having to branch out around Europe with Rachel playing for Aurubis Hamburg in Germany after moving to France three years ago to play in Toulon.
She has been playing since the age of two but only because her father is a coach. Rachel admitted to never playing the sport in school but believes that is exactly where it needs to start.
“It’s got to begin there to get more children involved. But there also needs to be more clubs outside of school which young people can join.”
Rachel and her team started training on Monday with sights firmly set on the European Championships in September.
By the time the Rio Olympics come round in 2016 she will be 31 and does not expect to be involved.
However if there are developments in the volleyball game in the UK she has not ruled out a swan song season closer to home where her mum still lives in Stoke Prior.
“Never say never. It would certainly make my life easier.”
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