Richard Fidler talks sport with Rachel Laybourne

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Rachel Laybourne, aged 30, is a key member of the Great Britain women’s volleyball team who will be taking part at the Olympic Games in London later this summer. Born and bred in Sheffield, Rachel is a former student at Meadowhead and All Saints schools.

What have you been doing today?

Today I’ve been working out at the gym for two and a half hours, had some food and then I’ve been on media duty for our team’s media day.

Who is your inspiration and why?

From a family perspective my mum. She’s been through her own trials and tribulations and come out the other side. From volleyball it is Audrey Cooper, she is my coach.

Which sports star did you admire when you were growing up?

Duncan Goodhew. He was a swimmer when I was a swimmer. He achieved worldwide success.

What’s your favourite other sport?

Anything that engages me when I watch it. I don’t have another one that I participate in. I’ve not played another sport for such a long time.

Who is the most famous person in your phone?

Squash player Nick Matthew. He’s the best in the world and is from Sheffield as well.

When was the last time you cried?

Two weeks ago with a family matter.

Who or what are you most proud of?

I’m proud of our team’s achievements so far. We haven’t had the easiest road, but we’ve stuck together through thick and thin.

What’s the best piece of advice you have received?

I read this somewhere: Do it well or don’t do it all.

When did you know you were good at what you do?

I think I’m still trying to get there! I don’t think I’m amazing, I’m still developing. I suppose when I made my first junior representative appearance for England when I was 18.

What one item do you take with you wherever you go?

My Bose headphones.

What is the most nervous you’ve ever been?

Before a cup final played in Sheffield. I just couldn’t stop shaking, I couldn’t concentrate. It was a long time ago probably before 2007.

Do you ever doubt yourself?

All the time! When I’m walking down the supermarket aisle I’m thinking ‘what do I want...?’ I doubt myself all the time.

What is your view on social networks like Twitter and Facebook?

With Twitter I should partake in it but don’t because I don’t think what I have to say is that important. I have Facebook, but not Twitter.

How would you relax away from sport?

I would love to take as many holidays as possible. Unfortunately with my timetable it doesn’t allow it, but I would love to just enjoy travelling and going to different places.

When and where was your last holiday - and would you go again?

My last holiday was Egypt last year and yes, I would go back there again. It was a good holiday.

Do you cook? If so what’s your favourite - if not who provides that favourite meal?

I do cook. I really enjoy making spicy prawn arrabiata.

What was the last book you read?

I really don’t know! I used to read Glamour magazine. When I was away in Poland I used to get my family to send me every issue because I was so bored out there.

If you weren’t doing what you do, what would you do?

I’d probably be a teacher. Maybe PE as a subject, but maybe some Geography in there somewhere.

Tell our readers in your own words why you think we’re interested enough to interview you?

I am part of the Great Britain women’s volleyball team and I’m on track to be playing in the Olympics Games at London 2012.

What’s your favourite TV programme?

At the moment it’s ‘The Voice’. I love the concept that it’s not like other reality programmes about how you look. The Voice just strips that back. It’s a level playing field for everyone.