Robyn Love (GB): ‘Good opportunity for the women’s tournament to be its own entity’
What are your thoughts in the lead up to the European Championships?
“I’m really excited for the Europeans. First and foremost, the task at hand is qualifying for Tokyo, we have to secure one of those four European spots. It will be a good opportunity to build momentum off of our World silver medal performance on a European stage to see where we are in our own European contingent. We are in a good place as a team due to our success last summer, however, we can’t rely on that success and we have to keep building going into Europeans.”
What’s your opinion on IWBF’s decision to split the men’s and women’s European Championships into two different competitions?
“I don’t know if it was IWBF’s decision. Poland don’t have a women’s team, so it might not have made sense for them to host the women’s competition. This is a shame as I think more international countries should have women’s teams as it would develop the game further. If this is achieved, then maybe in the future we can have the men’s and women’s tournaments together all the time. Personally, I think it’s a good opportunity for the women’s tournament to stand alone and be its own entity. Usually the men’s final is the big finale. Now we are our own finale. Some fans will have to pick one tournament to go to but we’re lucky enough in GB that a lot of our supporters will go to both tournaments. In that respect, it’s a good opportunity for people to watch basketball in two different countries over the summer.”
What have your experiences been like at previous friendly tournaments in the Netherlands?
“Friendly competitions are a lot different compared to international tournaments, but we usually go to Papendal which is the Netherlands’ Olympic training centre and it’s absolutely fantastic. It’s a world-class facility and I always remember it because I went to it when it was one of my first times away with GB. One of our aspirations is to have our elite training centre similar to theirs. I think that the Dutch really put a lot of attention to detail into what they do. Last summer we went over there for a friendly tournament and it’s always well organised by Basketball Experience NL. They are always accommodating and flexible, consistently putting the teams and athletes first.”
What are your goals for Tokyo?
“We need to qualify. This summer we’ve focused on what’s in front of us rather than what’s ten steps ahead. European countries are improving every year which is fantastic because it means we need to improve as well. We’re not going to rely on our World silver medal, we need to qualify just like everybody else. If we qualify for Tokyo which I believe we can do, our goal will be to win a Paralympic medal.”
Many people believe that the European final will be a rematch of the World final, what strategies have GB been working on over the past year to overcome the Netherlands?
“They are a world-class team but, I also believe we are a world-class team. We are getting closer and closer every time we play them. What we’ve done differently this year is that all the women in our squad have gone away and done their own routines with their own clubs on top of training at the elite training centre in Sheffield. For us as a team we need to be individually confident as well as confident as a team so that we can all be successful together. By being the best personally you can be, the team will be the best it can be. If you achieve this, you have the ability to beat any team. For us to beat the Dutch or any team for that matter, I think we need to be confident in our abilities and in the way we play. I’m excited to get back on court with GB to show the European stage what we’ve been working on and how we’ve been developing as individuals and as a team over the past year.”
Basketball Experience NL would like to thank Robyn Love for the interview.