Jarek Pasko Memorial Tournament

The inaugural Jarek Pasko Memorial Tournament took place at Lunan Bay on the first Saturday of September.

Jarek was a Polish beach volleyball player who lived in Aberdeen. He died of cancer in November 2015 a few days after his 30th birthday. Jarek was a great athlete and an even greater human being. With an easy smile and a playful sense of humour he made friends easily and his loss was a painful blow to the Scottish beach volleyball community.

More than 60 players, friends and family turned out for the first tournament held to celebrate his life and raise money for the Institute of Cancer Research.

Jarek’s parents Stanislaw and Maria, and his sister Mariola travelled from Poland to be at the event. HIs wife Joanna Rodzinka-Pasko helped organise the tournament along with his best friends Pawel Kiszka and Mariusz Chudzik.

Although we’re into September now the day was warm and sunny. Play was friendly but competitive. The women’s competition was won by Ewelina Michalik and Maria Manolopoulou. In the men’s event, Szymon Kepa – Jarek’s first ever beach partner when he came to Scotland – and Pierre Roy lost in the final to Paul Johnson and Paulo Frings. Pierre Roy won the award for MVP.

A raffle was held with prizes including beach volleyballs with Jarek’s name on them and there was a bbq with enough delicious Polish food to feed an army. Everyone signed two t-shirts for Jarek’s parents to take back to Poland with them. An incredible £900 was raised for cancer research.

The day was a huge success and a fitting final event to the 2016 Scottish beach volleyball season. The tournament will be held for many years to come, celebrating Jarek’s life and raising money to find a cure for cancer.

Well done to Pawel, Mariusz and the Aberdeen-Polish volleyball community for organising a fantastic event. And thanks to Jarek for the good weather.

Jack McKeown