Hot-shot Maddie sets her sights on Euros and Rio 2016

Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Maddie Thompson. Photo: Geoff Caddick/PA.
Paralympic wheelchair basketball player Maddie Thompson. Photo: Geoff Caddick/PA.

Hope Valley wheelchair basketball player Maddie Thompson has barely stopped since the dust settled on London 2012 but she insists she wouldn’t have it any other way as she targets European glory this summer.

Thompson made her Paralympic bow in the capital last summer as Britain finished seventh yet, rather than dwelling on the Games, she was back in action for club side Sheffield Steelers just days after the closing ceremony.

The 18-year-old shows little signs of slowing down and was in action last week as Britain took on international opposition for the first time since the Paralympics in a five-match series with the Netherlands.

And, despite losing 5-0, Thompson believes the signs are good ahead of the European Championships at the end of June in Germany.

“We played the Netherlands in a series and, with some new players and coaches although we lost, we came away with plenty of positives for the new team, said Thompson, speaking at the launch of the National Lottery Anniversary Run, to be held in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Stadium on July 21.

“We want to build on London and we are now looking towards Rio. We have a young squad but it will mature and it will gain all the necessary experience in time for Rio.

“We are hoping to get into the qualifiers for the World Championships so a medal would be nice at the Europeans and it is realistic so I don’t see why we can’t achieve it.”

Thompson made history back in 2008 when she became the youngest ever wheelchair basketball player to represent Great Britain at the Under-22 European Championships in Adana, Turkey.

And, despite still being in her teens, those past five years means Thompson is now one of the more experienced heads in a young squad – something she is relishing.

• The National Lottery Anniversary Run will take place on Sunday July 21.

Places are available via www.nationallotteryrun.com.