Olympic beach star Shauna Mullin returns to top-class international volleyball at the CEV Continental Cup in Portoroz, Slovenia.
Mullin, who decided after London 2012 that she would not be targeting Rio 2016, will partner former City of Edinburgh team-mate Anneka Hastings.
It is Scotland’s first official involvement in senior European beach competition and a team of eight has made the trip.
Lynne Beattie, who helped Scotland qualify for the final stages of the CEV European Championships Small Countries Division indoors in Perth last weekend, will partner the experienced Gillian Lyall, who helped Troon Team Ayrshire to runners-up in league and cup indoors this year.
In the men’s side, experienced pairing of Graham Riddle and partner will test themselves at a higher level and Robin Miedzybrodzki, who just missed out on an Olympic beach place, will partner Seain Cook, who was in Iceland last weekend helping Scotland reach the final stages of the European Championships Small Countries Division.
Scotland will face Belgium, Northern Ireland, Norway and hosts Slovenia and Beattie, who played indoors in Slovenia, will come up against some familiar opposition.
Northern Ireland’s Kerry Kirkpatrick and Melissa Taylor played in Perth last weekend as did libero Alice Harkness, who plays for Beattie’s club side Team Northumbria. Harkness will partner Rhian McCarroll in Slovenia.
Mullin will relish playing at international level again after partnering Zara Dampney at the Olympics two years ago on Horse Guards Parade. She still has fond recollections.
“I have two memories that stand out from London 2012. The first is standing in the tunnel before our first match with Canada and just not expecting that many people to make that much noise,” she said.
“We weren’t big personalities going into the Games but we had fantastic support from the crowd. Running into that stadium and seeing the crowd erupt will stay with me for the rest of my life.
“The other great memory was being part of Team GB going into the Olympic stadium for the Opening Ceremony, that was phenomenal as well. We didn’t really get to see much of the show as we were winding our way into the stadium but it was so great to be part of it.
“I also managed to get to the Closing Ceremony but that had a bit of a sad feel to it because it was all over. It really was such a great two weeks, in all aspects. Even when we were knocked out of the tournament, we had the chance to take in other events.”
Mel Coutts will coach Scotland’s women this weekend and Colin Paterson will guide the men.
SVA Chief Executive Margaret Ann Fleming said: “Scottish Volleyball is so very proud of the eight beach athletes representing our Federation for the first time ever in the European Beach Continental Cup in Slovenia.
“We see this as a massive step forward in the establishment of our National Beach Programmes and we are confident that our players shall compete with credibility and excellence in front of the Slovenia crowds. I wish all those players representing Scotland the best of luck”
The teams selected to go to Slovenia on 14/15 June 2014 will be:
Robin Miedzybrodzki & Seain Cook
Graham Riddle & Partner
Reserves – Callum Moir & Danny Traylor
Shauna Mullin & Anneka Hastings
Lynne Beattie & Gillian Lyall
Reserves – Emma Clarkson & Nicola McKenzie
Men’s Coach – Colin Paterson
Women’s Coach – Mel Coutts
Team Manager – Shelly Paterson
A big thank you to all those who attended selection training. There will be more opportunities, so keep training and watching the SVA website for updates and follow the team on the SVA social media.