As part of our ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ theme, each month, Team Scotland is putting one or two sports in the Sport Focus spotlight, which will feature all 25 sports in which Scotland has competed at the Commonwealth Games.
Look out for all things Beach Volleyball on Team Scotland’s website and social channels over the next couple of weeks and join us as we delve into the archives to uncover tales of past success and look ahead to the rising stars of Scottish sport.
Beach Volleyball at the Commonwealth Games
Beach Volleyball is an optional sport in the Commonwealth Games and made its debut at the Gold Coast 2018 Games in Australia. It made its Youth Games debut eight months earlier at 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas. Beach Volleyball is back on the programme for the next Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago and also at Birmingham 2022 where it will take place in a city centre location, bringing the sport to a new audience.
For Beach Volleyball’s debut at Gold Coast 2018, 12 team tournaments were held and Scotland qualified to compete in both men’s and women’s competitions, with four athletes selected for the Games.
Seain Cook, a professional volleyball player based in Holland and Robin Miedzybrodzki, a former British Champion successfully qualified for the men’s 12-team competition with an impressive win at the official European qualifying tournament in Cyprus. They were later joined by Edinburgh duo, Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts for the women.
Lynne had major Games experience having captained Team GB’s indoor volleyball team to ninth place at London 2012, whilst beach volleyball veteran Melissa Coutts was part of the first ever Scottish team to play and win on the World Tour and a three times British Champion.
The competition got underway on day two of the Games with the venue built on the stunning Coolangatta Beachfront, a stone’s throw away from Team Scotland’s ‘Schools Connect’ programme school, Coolangatta Primary. Both Scotland’s pairs acquitted themselves well, reaching the quarter finals.
Playing in Pool B, the men clocked up two early victories against Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone before losing to silver medallists Canada and eventually going out in the quarter finals against England. The women beat Grenada, but lost to both Cyprus and Australia in Pool A and also went out in the quarter finals, losing to eventual gold medal winners Canada.
Four nations won Beach Volleyball medals at Gold Coast 2018 with Australia and Canada taking one gold and one silver each, while New Zealand’s men and Vanuatu’s women took bronze.
Find out more about Beach Volleyball at the Commonwealth Games on our dedicated Beach Volleyball page.
Youth Games Success
Team Scotland’s first ever Beach Volleyball pair were Emma Waldie and Jennifer Lee, selected for the Bahamas 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games. Topping their pool with wins over Vanuatu and Jamaica, Emma and Jennifer breezed past hosts Bahamas in the quarter-finals before just losing out in a close tussle with New Zealand in the semi-finals.
They started well in the bronze medal match, looking comfortable and taking the first set 21-15. A close second set left the strong Scottish fan-base on tenterhooks with the lead changing multiple times. Scotland had the opportunity to serve for the match, and the medal, but were unable to seal the deal. Rwanda capitalised and were able to take the second set 24-26.
With the decider looming, Scotland continued to battle on in the soaring heat but it was Rwanda who coped better under pressure to take the final set 15-10. Beach Volleyball is once again included at the 2021 Youth Games in Trinidad & Tobago.
Scotland at the Commonwealth Games
The Commonwealth Games is the only occasion where Scotland gets to compete in a multi-sport event as a nation in its own right and is one of only six countries to have competed in every Commonwealth Games since their inception in Hamilton in 1930. Represented by 15 athletes participating in six sports at those first Games, and winning a very creditable 10 medals, Scotland have gone on to win medals at every Games since.
Edinburgh became the first city to hold the Games twice in 1970 and 1986 and also became the first city to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Scotland hosted the Games for a third time when Glasgow welcomed athletes and officials to the XXth Commonwealth Games from 23rd July – 3rd August 2014. That year, team Scotland celebrated their most successful Games in history, winning a total of 53 medals. The team then went on to record their highest ever overseas medal tally at Gold Coast in 2018.