Sitting volleyball record just the start for Rob Richardson”Ž
British men's sitting volleyball captain insists his team are just getting started after setting a new world record
Rob Richardson may be captain of a British men’s sitting volleyball team that has never been better ““ but the Muswell Hill ace insists they are only just getting started.
The British Paralympic Association broke the news to 29-year-old Richardson and co last Thursday that they were to be awarded a host nation place for London 2012.
This is following the team reaching the top ten in the world rankings after a seventh-place finish at July’s Continental Cup, where they beat the likes of America and Canada.
Kettering was the location as Britain mixed it with the best around and Richardson is readying himself to do it all again in Rotterdam next month at the European Championships.
And, despite having reached heights higher than ever before, Richardson is adamant the team won’t be slowing down with London 2012 fast approaching.
“Everything is looking really good as we just had the Continental Cup where we got ourselves in the top ten in the world and beat America,” said Richardson, speaking on International Paralympic Day on behalf of Cadbury Spots v Stripes.
“But now it is all about just stepping up again and we are targeting a top-five finish at the Europeans and that will put us in good stead ahead of 2012 and everything that comes with that.
“I have been playing since 2005 when we were ranked 56th in the world so from then to now it is chalk and cheese and our progression is amazing really.
“I don’t think we want to just be tourists at London 2012, we ultimately want to create a legacy for the Rio Games and take it forward and keep on improving.
“The atmosphere is going to be amazing and we have had a little taster but nothing will compare to what the Paralympics will be like and we can’t wait to get going.”
There was a double celebration on Thursday as not only did Richardson find out about the host nation place but he was also involved as the team set a new world record of 239 consecutive passes, breaking the previous best of 225.
And with a world record, set in Trafalgar Square in London already in the bag Richardson, who plies his trade for London Lynx, isn’t about to stop there.
“Sitting volleyball is a sport that probably not a lot of people have seen before because we haven’t been to a Paralympics before as Britain,” he added.
“Getting the sport out in front of as many people as possible and breaking the world record really gets us known and gets our sport in a shining light and it’s great.
“But we know we have a lot of work to do between now and London 2012 so this is just the start for us over the next year.”
Cadbury Spots v Stripes hosted a Guinness World Record for the longest sitting volleyball rally at International Paralympic Day in Trafalgar Square. To find out more about Cadbury Spots v Stripes, please visit www.spotsvstripes.com