Scotland’s Rhona Lloyd: ‘Since I was a kid I’ve wanted to go to the Olympics’ | Sarah Rendell

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Reaching the Olympics has been a lifelong dream for Rhona Lloyd. As a toddler she didn’t know what sport she needed to compete in, however she knew she needed to be an athlete on the Video games. The milestone might quickly be a actuality for the 24-year-old, if all goes in response to plan.

Lloyd, from Edinburgh, has been chosen as a part of GB Sevens’ prolonged squad for the rearranged Tokyo Olympics and she or he is doing all she will to earn a spot on the squad heading for Japan.

Lloyd’s ambition of Olympic success has meant her 15s sport has taken a again seat. Lloyd performs within the Premier 15s for Loughborough Lightning, who’ve reached the semi-finals this season. She has additionally received 28 caps for Scotland after making her debut in the course of the 2016 Six Nations. Nevertheless, the Olympic dream is one she places above all else in rugby, a sport she took up in highschool.

“Since I used to be a child I used to say I need to go to the Olympics,” Lloyd stated. “At that time I wasn’t even enjoying rugby. I used to be simply mad aggressive. It’s been a dream of mine and one which turned actually actual to me in the course of the 2016 Olympics. I simply had a shoulder operation and the primary couple of weeks I used to be hardly sleeping.

“Though it was in Rio I promise I watched greater than anyone else within the UK as a result of I used to be up at ridiculous hours of the morning. I bear in mind considering, ‘That is what I need to do’ and ‘How do I make that potential for me?’

“For that chance to come back round to me when it did is actually particular. I’m happy with myself. I need to go all the way in which with it actually.”

Lloyd will discover out if she has made the reduce for the trimmed GB staff in six weeks’ time, however for now she is placing the uncertainty across the Video games even going forward out of her thoughts. “It’s been difficult. However really I’m making ready for it to go forward. When individuals make feedback that counsel in any other case, I’ve simply chosen to not take them on board.

“I bear in mind within the 2020 Six Nations we [Scotland] acquired instructed our sport in opposition to England had been postponed 24 hours due to a storm. There have been ladies crying. Everyone was like, ‘Oh I’m at work tomorrow, I can’t play’. It was virtually just like the world had ended.

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“Now we get instructed a sport is cancelled and we’re like, ‘OK, on to the following one, what’s the plan?’ We’ve grow to be so adaptable within the final 12 months. I feel for a long-term journey as athletes that’s actually beneficial.”

One other factor that has been beneficial to Lloyd is the provide of knowledgeable contract and equal pay. Nice Britain Sevens function a banded pay construction to offer equal alternatives so women and men will be financially rewarded on the similar degree.

“I feel that’s completely mad [to have a contract]. Being knowledgeable rugby participant is one thing I didn’t know I might ever have the possibility to do. So I assume, on a person foundation, that meant the world [to me].

“But in addition then for our squad to be matched with the lads equally simply exhibits the worth that the British Olympic Affiliation and the nationwide lottery funding are placing on girls’s rugby.”

Lloyd shall be collaborating in a behind-closed-doors Olympic preparation event this weekend at St George’s Park, dwelling of England soccer. GB girls staff will face Eire and France whereas the lads tackle USA and Eire, with the video games on England Rugby channels. Lloyd thinks the event is a good alternative for GB girls to evaluate themselves two months out from the Olympics.

“We haven’t spoken about our opposition. We’re very a lot specializing in us and what we are able to do. I feel simply attempting to evaluate ourselves on our efficiency slightly than the result. You have got 22 gamers who haven’t performed collectively earlier than and we’re all going to do this for the primary time. We’re going to make errors however I feel the necessary bit from this weekend is studying from it and growing it after.”

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