BRITAIN'S women's volleyball team said that the disappointment of being overlooked for funding last week proved to be the spur for them to beat Nigeria.
The African side, ranked 55 in the world, visited the English Institute of Sport (EIS) in Sheffield for two international challenge games with Britain winning both matches 3-1 (25-15, 23-25, 25-10, 25-4) and 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-21)
The games were used as part of the women’s build-up to the first qualifying round of World Championships which are taking place at the EIS on January 2-4.
It was a filip for the team after volleyball were among several sports overlooked for funding when UK Sport announced its plans for the build-up to London 2012.
Kenny Barton, the performance programme manager at British Volleyball Federation, said: “The team certainly used the anger of last week’s negative funding announcement to good effect against Nigeria.
“This was a very good work-out for the women’s team and continued their excellent progress before the World Championships in Sheffield.
"Winning both matches was our goal so this was achieved.
“This is a newly formed Great Britain women’s team and therefore the more matches they can play against international opposition the better.
"The games against Nigeria followed the women’s recent visit to Japan where they took part in a two-week training camp.
“The experience all forms part of our development performance programme to build the country’s standing in world volleyball.”
The women face Israel, Portugal and Montenegro in the World Championships in Sheffield.
They will be hoping to finish top to reach the next round against the Ukraine, Belarus and Azerbaijan, with the World Finals taking place in Japan 2010.
Barton said: “All of these teams are stronger than Nigeria so we have to raise our level of play.
"The positive in all of this is that we are starting to show that we do have the ability to play with teams like those coming up and this confidence should give ourselves chances to be competitive and win matches during the competition.”
Tickets for the first round event, which is supported by Yorkshire Forward, are priced at £8 for adults and £4 for concessions.
They are available in advance by visiting www.volleyballengland.org, calling 0114 223 5742 or from the EIS - Sheffield reception, Coleridge Road, Sheffield, S9 5DA.