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Volleyball - 28. February 2011.

Great Britain Volleyball Team not going to London 2012

Great Britain women’s coach Audrey Cooper has said she expects her side to perform well at the London 2012 Olympic Games next year as she looks to the team to help build a foundation for the future of volleyball in the country.

The side currently sit at No.72 in the FIVB World Rankings but Cooper explained to UK newspaper The Observer on Sunday that she doesn’t want the team to “just turn up to claim the T-shirt, but to perform so well that we inspire the next generation to take this spectacular sport seriously, and the next, and the next.”

“These girls have the ambition of laying the foundation of the future of British women's volleyball,” she said. “We only started four years ago and we're developing fast as a team. We went so, so close last summer to beating the Japanese, who were third at the last world championships.”

Britain’s current crop of players are plying their trade across the world and with their funding at £4m they are also in the process of trying to raise a further £250,000 needed to give them sufficient practice ahead of the Games.

However despite the issues facing them, the side are determined to challenge the world’s best at Earls Court – the setting for the Olympic volleyball tournament – come 2012.

“I have never presented the girls with easy opposition,” Cooper explained. “I want them to be mentally tough. This isn't about winning in 2010, it's about the fighting unit we will have become by 2012."

"You'd just kick yourself forever if you missed an opportunity to play for your country at a home Games,” Nicky Osbourne, one of the teams players added. “It's not about money, it's not about fame. It's about playing for each other and the sport we love. And if we can inspire young people to see how athletic, dynamic and fun volleyball can be, that would be absolutely massive to us. Our Olympic gold medal is being the best we can be."
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