Great Britain Olympic volleyball captain Lynne Beattie has urged her Scotland team-mates to aim high at the CEV European Championships Small Countries Division women’s qualifier at Bell’s Sports Centre in Perth on June 6-8.
Beattie helped Team Northumbria complete the league and cup double in England and is relishing a return to her homeland where Scotland will face favourites Cyprus, Ireland, Northern Ireland and Malta.
The 28 year-old believes the hosts are shaping up nicely, having had scrimmage matches with the Scotland Under-20 MEN’S team, who won the CEV Small Countries title in Luxembourg last month. “The last few months of training have gone really well for us,” she outlines, “We have learned from last summer and are making tremendous progress. “Easter weekend saw us endure a three-day training camp where we had the opportunity to scrimmage against the Under-20 men. “It was a chance to see how we handled a match situation, under pressure, facing the challenge of a bigger block and higher net than normal. “Despite the men winning all five sets, we certainly competed with them and solved the problems presented to us. This is what we will need to do in June. We are learning to play and work hard as a team and this will make us very difficult to beat. “We are not going to Perth, just to achieve qualification. We are going to Perth to finish top of the group and send out a message to the other teams that Scotland are a team to be reckoned with in next year’s finals. “If you ask me, I 100% believe we have the ability and the experience to beat Cyprus for the first time. We came close last year and this year we are a stronger team with a strong team spirit and desire to win.”
Scotland are guaranteed loud and knowledgeable backing as the event will be played on the same weekend as the Scottish Open, Britain’s biggest volleyball tournament, in Perth. Perth & Kinross Council, LiveActive and the Scottish Open Volleyball Tournament are all backing the event.
Margaret Ann Fleming, CEO of SVA commented, “We are delighted to go into this partnership with Perth & Kinross Council in order to host our Senior Women’s National Team in their first competitive European SCD match on Scottish soil for many a year. “Dave Munro, from the Scottish Open, has been instrumental in creating the link for Scottish Volleyball and we are delighted to take the tournament to a potential spectator base of over 1000 people. The atmosphere which will be created at the SOVT will make the event spectacular and I urge all Scottish Volleyball members to be part of this experience.’