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By Jamie Arrowsmith Monday 21 January 2013 Updated: 24/01 16:30
BROMSGROVE’S Rebecca Taylor hopes she has shown what Great Britain is made of when it comes to basketball following her Australian Youth Olympic Festival adventure.
Taylor travelled to Sydney last week as part of a 120-strong British team for the Festival, a competition that saw 1,700 athletes from 30 countries battle it out across 17 Olympic sports.
But Taylor and her compatriots got off to the worst possible start in the 3x3 basketball as they lost all three of their opening matches against the two Australian teams and New Zealand.
However, the South Bromsgrove High School pupil returned to the courts 48 hours later and recorded an 8-2 victory against Indonesia, alongside defeat to China, to finish fifth.
And, despite heading home with just one victory under her belt, 15-year-old Taylor believes it was more than enough to leave a mark on Britain’s international rivals.
“We finished fifth and, considering the way we started, I think that it is a good result,” said Taylor - who played with Rhianna-Mae Laing, Shanice Norton and Savannah Wilkinson.
“I am pleased with that because basketball is not a well-known sport in Britain, especially women’s basketball.
“So to get a victory in a big competition like this shows what we can do and hopefully now we can build on this and continue to improve.
“We were also new as a team, and to the 3x3 format, so we had to come together very quickly and to do that was good too.
“Hopefully people have seen how we have played and we can encourage more people to take up the sport and it can continue to grow.”
The dust had barely settled on the Australian Youth Olympic Festival in Sydney before Taylor was already eyeing up her next big target.
And Taylor, who plays for the Bromsgrove Bears, insists her trip Down Under has given her the confidence to march on towards September’s EuroBasket.
“The next big aim for me is to make the British squad for the European Championships later in the year and do well there,” she added.
“Getting selected for the Australian Youth Olympic Festival has given me a lot of confidence towards that and hopefully I can continue to grow as a player and we can grow as a team.”
The British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic values. For more, visit www.olympics.org.uk.
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