Archive for October 3rd, 2008
Spotting the best pair in the sand arena

It’s a serious business this beach volleyball, I arrived in good time for the start of the Tenerife Champions Cup at Siam Park, to find the staff watering and raking the sand court, and a player taking a right pummelling in the physio tent in the corner. Moving into the press and hospitality area around the court, it was baking hot but the sight of the Champions Girls cheerleaders barely dressed and bopping sent my temperature through the roof.

Champions Girls

First in action were Pablo Herrera and Raul Messa, Spain’s first team (yellow and red), and Jody Gooding and Robin Miedzybrodzki of Great Britain (blue and red) . At the launch party last night, I got a chance to ask the GB pair (below)about their life as professional players, Jody (left)Â from Worcester and Martin (right)Â from Edinburgh had just flown in from a tournament in Brazil and they fly out to Dubai in the early hours of Monday, hectic by any standards. The pair train out of Bath University under their New Zealand born coach, and it’s tunnel vision for the next 4 years as London 2012 is their aim. Before that it was time to take on Spain again after beating them in Brazil.

Jody & Martin

Watching the game unfold, I started to appreciate some of the finer points like the finger signals behind the back to the team mate and the subtle changes of pace from long shots to short flicks over the net. During breaks in play the pairs rested in their seating areas, honing their concentration, not easy to do with the cheerleaders gyrating just behind them.

Pablo & RaulÂ

So what of the match, Spain took the lead and left GB fighting to stay in touch, before winning the first set 21-15. GB looked to be more even in the next set, but a late burst saw Spain take the set 21-16 and wrap up the match.

GB V Spain

It’s a shame the crowd was so sparse, but hopefully the weekend will see a few more people make the effort to see some great sporting action as the competition reaches its climax.Â