I regularly keep in touch with former Su Ragazzi player Lynne Beattie and asked her if she would write a short article to let everyone know how she is getting on with her new life as a Professional Volleyball Player. Since Lynne wrote the article her team Calcit Kamnik have won the league and the deciding game ended 3-2 with an 18-16 final set.
Sandra Grubb, Club & Participation Development Manager
A Day In The Life of Lynne Beattie
After a busy schedule of competetive volleyball last summer, i decided that it was the right time for me to experience life as a professional volleyball player. I signed up with volleyball agency Bring It Promotions in August and it all happened very quickly from there. Within 2 weeks i had heard from Calcit Kamnik VC in Slovenia, who wanted me to go out for a week-long trial. I was welcomed by a very hospitable team of players and coaching staff. They showed immediate interest in me, so it was down to me to decide whether it was right for me. I was very impressed by the club set-up and was excited about the level of volleyball so i decided to go for it. One of the deciding factors was that my team not only play in the Slovenian National League, but also in the Middle European Volleyball League (MEVZA), which consists of 10 teams in total: the top teams from Slovenia, Slovakia, Croatia and Austria. This means that the level is high with a very busy match schedule and the opportunity to travel Europe.
Until this year I have always juggled volleyball with studying or work so this year to focus soley on volleyball has been a very enjoyable experience….So far, life as a professional volleyball player is everything i had hoped it would be.
Training everyday, with high level matches twice weekly, is exactly the experience i was looking for in order to develop my game. The players on my team are a mixture of both youth and experience so makes for a very good learning environment. We are currently the only team unbeaten in the Slovenian National League and should reach the play-off finals if we continue this form. We only have one fixture to go before the play-offs begin. This year is the club’s first year in MEVZA but we have recorded some big wins against some of the top teams in the league which has left us fighting for a final four play off position. Our biggest achievement to date has been making it to the Slovenian Cup Final. It’s the first time in the club’s history that the women’s team has made it to the final, to be shown live on Slovenian National TV. We played Maribor in a thrilling encounter but unfortunately lost 3-1. We put up a very good fight and it was a great spectacle to be involved in. The atmosphere and the support from our fans was fantastic.
Although Kamnik is a very small town, the whole community gets involved in supporting the club. I am treated very well not only by the club, but by the parents, friends and family of team mates. I live with an American girl, Emillie Toone, and we are the only foreigners on the team. She also has aspirations to play at an Olympic Games so its great to have someone who shares the same drive and motivation that i do. Kamnik is a beautiful town, which sits at the foot of the Austrian Alps. The weather was perfect when i arrived here in September, sunshine and temperatures around 30 degrees, but since November, the snow has been relentless with temperatures as low as -18 degrees.
I am really enjoying my season in Slovenia. Having played with Team GB every day for over a year, it was very challenging at the beginning of the season to get used to playing with different players in a completely different environment, and of course the language barrier posed some challenges too. It didnt take long to adapt though. As a starting 6 player on the team, i have learned so much. Not only has my game improved, but i am mentally tougher, and importantly know what it takes to win. The experience i have gained playing matches at this level has been invaluable and i really look forward to playing with Team GB this summer so I can put everything i have learned into practice.