Thu, 13 Sept 2018
FORMER Thames Valley Kings player Kayla Bell admitted that ‘it’s not really sunk in’ after Great Britain won silver at the World Wheelchair Basketball Championships in Germany last month.
Bell helped Great Britain reach the final of the championships in Hamburg, but GB fell short at the end, losing 56-40 to The Netherlands.
“It’s not really sunk in yet,” Bell said. “I guess that we all kind of dreamed about getting a medal for ages and now that we have final done it, it’s crazy.
“We wanted to beat the Dutch and get the gold medal, but to even get a silver is such a massive achievement.”
The 22-year-old was part of a youthful squad with an average age of 23, but she believes they had enough experience to do well.
“Even though we were a young team, it’s a squad full of experience,” said Bell. “Helen Freeman has been to three Paralympic Games.
“The girls were really welcoming and they’re like my second family, so it was really easy to settle in.”
Growing up in Thatcham, Bell joined the Kings when she was eight years old, before eventually playing in the National Leagues.
The experience that she has gained from her first senior international experience has made her more motivated to represent GB at the Paralympic Games.
“It has given me more determination to keep working and get selected in the Tokyo 2020 team.”
Bell praised the Kings for their support and believes they played a huge part in her career.
She said: “They really helped me at the beginning of my career when I wanted to get into basketball and since then, they’ve helped me progress through the national leagues.
“They have always helped me in the right direction.”
Bell also said her family made a lot of sacrifices and added: “My parents have always been there for me and they’ve sacrificed a lot of things because we play all around the country in the national leagues, never mind international level.
“They have always been there for me – I guess they are my biggest fans.”
Bell admitted that preparations for the next tournament continues after a well-deserved break.
“I have the under-24 European Championships [in France] coming up at the end of October, so after a few weeks off that will be my main focus,” she said.