Now that the competition is officially over, Scottish Volleyball has had some time to reflect on what an amazing event took place at Kyle Academy this past weekend. The return of international beach volleyball was thoroughly welcomed, with Scottish Volleyball feeling especially proud to host a European Small Countries Association Zonal event in Ayr for the first time.
With the court build completed just one week before the competition was due to begin, it was a little close for comfort for court preparation. Staff and key volunteers worked tirelessly for two days to ensure that teams would reap the full benefits of the new facility. By the time Friday rolled around, the sun was shining and teams were enjoying the fresh sand of the courts.
12 teams in each gender had travelled up for the competition, hosted in celebration of Queen’s Diamon Jubilee. Union Jacks decorated the facility as 10 nations took part in the competition, starting with modified pool play before heading to single elimination in the Quarter-Finals. By Sunday morning we had our finalists; Scotland’s Lynne Beattie and Mel Coutts taking on England’s Katie Keefe and Isabelle Tucker in the women’s gold match, while Pascal and Vincent Ferry of Monaco took on the English pairing of Niko Gleed and Harry Jones in the men’s final.
Crowds were abuzz as teams took to the court. Unfortunately, a medical withdrawal meant that Beattie and Coutts couldn’t play in their final, resulting in Keefe and Tucker taking the win. A three-set thriller more than made up for the disappointment though, with England edging out the Monegasque team 2-1 to take home the trophy.
Blair Pettigrew, Regional Development Officer and National Pathways Lead, has been working closely with the local council to bring this event to life. He said: “I was delighted to see the new facility come to life in such a fanatic way, I’d like to again thank all those involved in the build, in particular South Ayrshire council who have shared and championed the vision from day 1. I look forward to the community and local schools utilising the facility and more high-profile events being held there in the coming years.”
Margaret- Ann Fleming MBE, CEO of Scottish Volleyball echoed his statement; “This past weekend in Ayr at Kyle Academy was one of the best events Scottish Volleyball has ever undertaken in beach volleyball. It was our honour to have hosted the European Small Countries at the newly built two court beach facility based on the grounds of the school, with the support of the school and its teachers, the Local Authority, Active Schools and our Ayrshire clubs. Out of the sadness and stress of the Covid-19 Pandemic, Scottish Volleyball’s Regional and National Pathways Officer, Blair Pettigrew had the vision and drive to engage with partners and really drive forward this exciting initiative. My personal thanks go out to all organising staff, volunteers, NTOs, officials, players, and coaches who made this event one to remember.”
Scottish Volleyball would like to take this time to thank all the staff, volunteers and officials who worked non-stop to ensure this event was a success. In addition, a big thank you must go to South Ayrshire Council for their funding for this event, and South Ayrshire Active Schools, for working with us to host this event and for their help in bringing the new courts to life. And as always to Lynne and Michael at VolleyballPhotos, who always take the most amazing pictures for us!
More beach volleyball is on the cards, with the Junior Beach Volleyball Championships being held in Troon on the 25th of June. You can sign up using this link:
You can view the final results of the competition below: