OLYMPIC DIARY: Time needed for new sports

Wise words: Volleyball's Ben Pipes
Wise words: Volleyball's Ben Pipes
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ON this page, Great Britain volleyball skipper Ben Pipes talks about the length of time needed to take a fledgling sporting programme into the realms of being competitive.

For many of our team sports at these Olympics - basketball, water polo, handball, beach volleyball and volleyball - it has been either their first appearance for many years at a Games or their debut.

Let’s face it, we’re a football country and obsesses about our national sport the same way that other countries get behind three of four combined.

If it isn’t football then it’s cricket or either code of rugby.

However, we must find room for other team sports. And to do so it’s up to the general public and media to keep on backing them long after the closing ceremony this Sunday.

Pipes makes the point that it’s a long process to create a team that is capable of competing for a medal at an Olympics or world or European championships.

A history needs to be created, experience passed down and best practice shared amongst coaches, players and administrators.

Last night, the men’s basketball team won their first match at the Games since 1948. The women’s volleyball and beach volleyball teams are the only others to record a success in London.

This doesn’t mean that they’re a failure it just shows that there is plenty of work to do.

2012 should be the starting point for these sports and not the end of seven years hard work.

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