The preparation for the tournament started by selecting 7 young girls to participate on the tournament. After selection TEAM EDINBURGH was represented by Hannah Cochrane, Heather Purdie, Natalia Blaszczak, Rhian Murphy, Alicja Lonska, Ellie Stewart and Megan Hall. As preparation for the tournament they played the Lothian and Borders district league, a day tournament against Scotland’s young seniors team and also all took part in the selection for the Sainbury’s school games.
The tournament had 14 teams from all around the world.
The first day consisted of court reconnaissance and light practice to give them rhythm for the competition. Day 1 of competition (Friday) started with an electric battle with the young yet tall team of Kelowna (Canada). After a nervous start from Kelowna team, they overcame our girls in a thrilling 25-22. Team Edinburgh fought its way back in the second set leaving behind the tough first set loss and claimed the second set, winning by 25-20! In the third and final set Team Edinburgh managed to control its nerves and cruised to a 15-9 victory. A few hours after the outstanding win, they battled hard against a strong, tall and experienced Slovenian team (Slovenj Gradec – Silver medalist) but the girls weren’t able to withstand such a strong team, losing 2-0. Day one finished with a positive 1 win – 1 loss for team Edinburgh.
Day 2 was a carousel of emotions because the team needed to win to stay alive in the competition. The first game was against he Dutch team from Heiloo. The girls imposed themselves against a very young team by battling their own tiredness and anxiety and winning the game 2-0 (25-19, 25-11). That meant the girls would have to play the next game against the skillful, strong and loud Turkish team of Bergama! The girls have done an outstanding work in stopping their strongest hitter for most of the game and winning important rallies, but lost by 2-0 (16-25, 19-25).
Overall, the ICG was an important accomplishment for these girls and to myself as a coach due to the whole new world presented to them as competitors and to compare themselves with athletes all around the world and see volleyball from a different perspective.