Julie Rogers ready for more after a royal-inspired
JULIE Rogers met royalty – from actual to sporting – as she made her Paralympic sitting volleyball debut aged just 13 at London 2012 and now she’s after a crowning moment at Rio 2016.
Rogers, who plays for Loughborough Lions, was one of the youngest members of the whole British contingent at London 2012 – second only to swimmer Chloe Davies – and she certainly enjoyed the experience.
She chatted with Prince Edward, met her own prince in the form of Oscar Pistorius while Boris Johnson and Barbara Windsor and the London Fire Brigade also graced the same court as her.
On the court however Rogers’ campaign was somewhat of an eye-opening one as the British women’s team failed to win a single game and finished eighth out of the eight that entered.
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Given a host nation place on the basis that their performance would be credible, the future is now uncertain for the women’s team, but Rogers is determined to be at the next Games in Rio.
“I guess it’s not what an average 13-year-old does. It’s a good achievement and a good thing for my future,” said Rogers.
“I met my hero, Oscar Pistorius, in the village and he was really nice, cool and down to earth. He’s a brilliant role model.
“And I reckon I had the best-looking prosthetic leg in the village. I designed it myself along with my prosthetist and it’s pretty cool. I’ve also got another good leg that I use to go swimming with.”
Rogers and co’s London 2012 campaign encompassed straight set defeats to Ukraine, the Netherlands and Japan in the group stages and Brazil in the first of two classification matches.
They missed out on seventh to Japan but captain Claire Harvey insists Rogers should be proud of her achievements at what could be the first for many Games to come for the teenager.
“It is important to take this forward to Rio because we all learnt a lot from the matches we played against very good teams,” said Harvey.
“I want to go to Rio and I want to go there more experienced and I think the team will have improved a lot more by then.”
© Sportsbeat 2012