Great Britain Women’s Basketball player Hannah Shaw has certainly experienced a difficult few weeks. The 29-year-old who plays for Sarcedo in Italy and has also represented her country in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, managed to escape Covid-19 recently.

I managed to catch up with Hannah this week and started by asking her how she is coping with the lockdown and training. “I’ve been ok with it” she said. “I have an exercise bike here which is great, and I try and cycle 20 to 30 kilometres a day which is great, I’ve also got basic weights here.”

 Hannah went on to say that she faced a frightening experience in Italy. “I was playing in Northern Italy about an hour from Venice and a couple of hours from Milan, in between two of the quiet big hotspots. The town I was in didn’t have any cases and we didn’t go onto a serious lockdown. We had one week where everything was cancelled so I came home for the week as basketball in Italy was cancelled, then I managed to go back for a week”. She went on to say “The following week we had a game behind closed doors which was a super weird experience and then the day after that my agent called me and said start packing your bags, it’s going to happen you are going to have to go home, and then it was announced that Milan had gone down with a serious lockdown and then the rest of North Italy was following as well, so I packed my bags on the Sunday and on the Monday I got one of the only two flights out of Marco Polo that day and thankfully I managed to get back to London”. She had more trouble getting back home. “Nobody was able to take me to the airport because of the lockdown as the Italians couldn’t travel between county borders so I managed to take three suitcases and my backpack, my handbag and a big bag of food. Two trains and the transfer bus, just a surreal experience as there was only about three people on my train. I managed to make it home and went straight into a 14-day isolation.”

“I feel fine now” she pointed out, “but I think I had this [coronavirus] at the end of January, as I’ve been reading that they think the main hotspot was in the Champions League game between Atalanta and Valencia. The following week I had been in Milan, and because the game had been at San Siro and when I came back from the National team camp I had a really horrendous cold with quiet a lot of flu symptoms and I just feel like I had it then.”

 Hannah was part of the GB Womens Basketball team who narrowly missed out on qualification for the Tokyo Olympics.“It was hugely disappointing; it was an opportunity missed from us which is a real shame as we have been a comeback team which shows such grit and determination.” she said. “We just get things done, if we could just find ways to finish, but at this tournament we just couldn’t, we came up short, which is super disappointing and frustrating.” “It was amazing for Great Britain to be in that position in the qualifying tournament to play against some of the best teams in the world and to lose big games by really small amount of points.” she added. “It is and it was still very disappointing.”

Full interview with Hannah Shaw