Golborne’s Rebekah Airey is determined to make the most of this month’s trip to Australia with England Under-21s as she works towards securing her place at the Netball World Youth Cup next year.
Airey was one of the selected to travel Down Under to take part in six games against Australia, New Zealand and Fiji, with the tour running from Thursday until August 15.
The 19-year-old has worked her way up through the age groups and those heading to Australia this week have been selected as they are part of the ‘long squad’ who are working towards the Netball World Youth Cup in Botswana in July 2017.
“I am thrilled to be selected. I am looking forward to the travel with the girls and hopefully I won’t lose as many card games this time around!” Airey joked.
“This will only be my second time in Australia, after going last year, but I have now worked my way up through the Under-17s, Under-19s and Under-21s age groups which is pleasing.
“We have a year to the competition in Botswana now so we are assessing where we are as players and where we need to go.
“Next year we really want to win so we are going to put everything we have into this trip. It should be good and we are all quite excited about it.
“I am pleased because I have taken the opportunities that have come my way and I am on the right trajectory and the right path.”
Airey has been selected for the SSE Next Generation for a third consecutive year, which sees 100 athletes provided with financial help and mentoring from elite sportsmen and women, such as Olympic medal-winning diver Leon Taylor.
And the former Wigan and Leigh College pupil can’t wait to watch the world’s finest compete at Rio 2016.
“The Olympic Games really motivates us all,” Airey added.
“To see other athletes doing as well as they can is inspiring and when I watched the Olympics last time I was jumping on the couch and shouting ‘go, go, go’ at the TV!
“I watch thinking ‘we are going to be like that and bring something home!’
“We have planned watching the Olympics into our schedule in Australia and we will definitely be watching.”
SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future. Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen