Lynne Beattie relishes a fresh challenge. The captain of Great Britain’s Olympic team at London 2012 has stepped outdoors this summer and looks to help Scotland progress in the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup in Portobello, Edinburgh, this weekend as the home team hosts pairs from England, Northern Ireland and Ireland in Pool B.
Beattie, 28, has formed a strong partnership with Gillian Lyall, 42, a veteran of the Scottish beach circuit and who won 26 indoor caps for Scotland. Lyall and partner Agata Zaremba came out top of the Scottish Tour rankings this summer. Beattie and Lyall played together in Slovenia in the first round of the Continental Cup and are now looking to progress to the third round. Olympic beach player Shauna Mullin and Anneka Hastings are also hopeful of making home advantage count this weekend.
“People always told me that it was a completely different game and I found that out this summer,” Beattie states. “Obviously, the skills are the same but the tactics are different and, for me, it’s been refreshing to have a new challenge. For the last couple of years it’s been on my radar and I wanted to try it. The carrot has been dangled in that I could play internationally and that entices you to train and put in the hours. It is a challenge but it’s one I’m really enjoying. Essentially, we’re making history. There’s never been an international beach tournament in Scotland before. We have a huge opportunity.”
Standing in her way in this weekend’s event could be England’s Vicky Palmer, a team-mate from her Great Britain days. “I played with Vicky indoors for Great Britain so it’ll be great to play against her if it works out that way. She got down to the last 14 for the Olympics but did not make the final team so it’ll be good to see her again.”
Beattie has played professionally in Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Spain and Switzerland indoors and last season helped Team Northumbria win the English League title. When she was in Slovenia on beach duty earlier this summer, it was obvious she had made an impact from her time playing with Calcit KAMNIK. “One of my former team-mates came down and gave us some Slovenian wine. She lived on a vineyard so it was pretty much a home brew,” she laughed.
Recently appointed as Regional Development Officer for the East of Scotland, Beattie is now focused on helping the next generation follow in her footsteps. But she still has plans to make her own footprints in the sand.