Basketball - Hamer backs wheelchair side to learn from heartbreak

Judith Hamer admits it will take time for the wounds of London 2012 to heal, but she insists Britain’s women’s wheelchair basketball team will be far stronger for it in the battles to come.

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Basketball - Hamer backs wheelchair side to learn from heartbreak
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Wheelchair rugby at the Basketball Arena in the Olympic Park (Reuters)

Hamer and co finished seventh at the Paralympics, their best since a sixth at Atlanta 1996, despite targeting a place on the podium in the build up to the Games.

Now she’s locked in the domestic season playing for the Nottingham-based Coyotes, a team made up of the women’s team who form part of the men’s Division One Central League.

And the 22-year-old claims the humbling experience of London 2012 has left them more determined than ever to show that they can compete on the international stage.

“It is very raw but you can’t beat yourself up about it too much – it is more important that we learn from it and make an improvement,” said Hamer.

“This is a very young squad and we have only been with each other for a little while so we are still getting to know each other’s strengths in every game we play.

“We all play together for the Coyotes so that helps a lot and we feel we are making progress and we know it is still a learning curve.

“We all have a Paralympics under our belt now so the next one we will know what we need to do and hopefully with a few changes to how we do things I think we understand more about what it is to be an international team.”

Hamer and co are working towards the European Championships in June which will act as a qualifier for the World Championships in 2014 set to be held in Canada.

And Hamer expects Britain to come back older and wiser and surprise a few people when they return to the international stage in Germany.

“We are trying to turn the Paralympics into a positive and head into the Europeans a confident side and a much stronger set of girls,” she added.

“We play with each other every weekend but we have been coping with injuries since the summer and a lot of girls are using now to rest up ahead of next year.

“Some of the teams we will play have been together for I don’t know how many years but I don’t think they are any better – just a bit more experienced.

“Come the European Championships we want to give a good account of ourselves, win a lot of games and qualify for the worlds.”

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