Ian Brownlee, City of Edinburgh Volleyball Coach, reports on our teams’ time in the recent International Children’s Games (ICG) in Alkmaar, Holland.
Beach Volleyball was included in ICG for the first time in 2015 and was the first time Scottish Volleyball have entered juniors into an international beach competition.
The Edinburgh representative teams were all from City of Edinburgh Volleyball Club and Queensferry High School.
Logan Darling (14) and Harris Ritchie (13)
Amy Rankin (15) and Emma Waldie (14)
The four beach athletes were selected based on their prior performances at indoor volleyball and their likely ability to adapt well to the requirements of beach volleyball. They have benefitted significantly from the additional opportunities as part of the preparation for the ICG and progressed visibly with each game and finished the tournament at a higher level than they started.
Results in Alkmaar
The girls were pooled with the eventual gold and bronze medal winners: Los Angeles (USA) and Bankok (Thailand). The two games against Los Angeles and Bankok provided excellent experience and inspiration to the Edinburgh girls, although they lost both games 0-2. The girls learned from these games and completed their pool with a 21-17, 19-21, 15-4 win over Lausanne (Switzerland).
With one win and two losses, the girls were in the B pool on Sunday, where they secured a 21-19, 21-8 win over Žalec (Slovenia) in the B semi-final and pushed Kaunas (Lithuania) to 19-19 in the B final before losing out 19-21, 14-21.
The boys had an even more difficult pool with the eventual gold and silver medal teams, Los Angeles and Bankok. The Bankok and Los Angeles games were also an excellent learning experience where the boys reached new levels of play despite the 3-21, 5-21 score line vs Bankok and 10-21, 2-21 vs Los Angeles.
In their remaining pool game the boys faced a tall and strong team from Brantford (Canada). Our superior serving, passing and tactics allowed us to reach a 1-0 lead, but the Canadians were too strong in the end and came back to win 1-2 (21-16, 15-21, 10-15).
This left the boys in the lower pool in day two. They were able to improve their level of play as a result of what they had learned on day one0 and secured two wins over Contra Costa County (USA) 21-10, 21-15 and Lausanne 21-19, 22-20.
It has been a unique and extraordinarily beneficial experience for these beach volleyball athletes and their participation and achievements in Alkmaar has significantly raised the profile of junior beach volleyball in Edinburgh and Scotland.
There will be more posts on our other teams performance at the games published throughout this week – so stay tuned!