I know it has been a while since I posted here but many things kept me occupied and I stayed away from the blog.
The Love for Beach Volleyball in England
First of all, I felt in love (deeply and madly) with
(a man) the beach volleyball. We have been playing the beach volleyball with our Yorkshire community in Bridlington on the weekends for the past three years. The love and passion for this sport for many of us came from the regular Brid Beach 4-a-side tournament organised by Dave and Penny Speers from Leeds Volleyball Club. Believe it or not, it was its 35th Anniversary this year! The tournament grows every year and this year we saw around 100 teams playing friendly and competitive volleyball. Moreover, over 400 people also witnessed a volleyball wedding.
I have teamed up with two of the players from NVL squad and Joanna. I must be honest, we did not do good 😀 We ended up in a strong pool, losing two matches by one and the other one by two points on Saturday. This means we have dropped to the plate competition. Brid Beach is known for its amazing evening atmosphere which involves dancing and drinks containing alcohol. I and my team mates woke up very tired on Sunday morning. Therefore, let’s rather not mention the Sunday results.
The Yorkshire Series Story
Piotr and Marzena Makowski have been extremely dedicated to bring all the fans of beach volleyball together and play a competitive beach volleyball in its original competitive setup 2-a-side. The Yorkshire Series was born two years ago. This year, thanks to their commitment and hard work, they brought the Yorkshire Series competition below the wings of Volleyball England Beach Tour. This means that pairs can collect points for their national ranking. There have been four dates scheduled for the summer:
- 17th June 2017
- 2nd July 2017
- 26th August 2017
- 2nd September 2017
Beach Volleyball Coaching Clinic
Knowing that Yorkshire Series first tournament is coming up in June, Piotr and Marz had a great idea to prepare players for the beach season and organise the 1st Yorkshire Series Training Camp in May. As we needed qualified coaches, I and Marz have decided to attend the Volleyball England Beach Volleyball Coaching Clinic in Oxford in April. The tutors were Olympians Denise Austin and Amanda Glover and supporting staff including Pete Guernari and others. This course thought me a lot as a player but also as a coach. Both Denise and Amanda are amazing tutors with so much experience in game of beach volleyball but also in tutoring. My only wish was that the course to be longer and the weather warmer. The two day course covered all important aspects of beach volleyball game (more information will be provided in a separate post).
The SideOut Beach Volleyball Camp in Athens
I and my partner Cristina wanted to improve our skills for the Yorkshire Series so we have decided to signed up for the SideOut beach volleyball camp that was held in Athens in the end of May. We heard only positive feedback from the previous attendees. This week-long course gave us such a good training and understanding of the games. For more information about available beach volleyball training and camps follow this link (TBC). The coaching team consisted of ex-Olympian players and the best beach volleyball coaches in the UK and Greece.
I have finished 2nd (Div 2) in the final tournament of the camp with my Russian partner Dina.
Watch the videos below to get an idea about how great time we all had:
Athens 2017 Beach Volleyball Camp – High Five
Two weeks after our return from Athens, the first Yorkshire Series were organised. I and Cristina have finished in the semi-finals loosing to the winners. The day was beautiful and temperature and the sunshine reminded us of Athens.
The second Series was played in July, a week after “big Brid”. The competition was strong and in a new format, we finished in the quarterfinals.
The third Series was organised almost a month after the second one. It was on Saturday during the bank holiday weekend and organised with a partnership with Active Coast. It was advertised as Beach Volleyball Festival and felt like one. We have beat a Guinness record in most players playing the beach volleyball. It was a fantastic day, we won our pool and finish in the semifinal loosing to the winners once again.
The last series of the summer was organised just a week after the last one. It was a difficult day, with the temperature colder due to the cold strong wind from the sea. Many pairs had a difficulty to play. Even though we finished second in the group, we lost in the quarterfinals against the runner ups of the day. I have played the whole day with the injured shoulder and in the last match, I had also struggled with bad cramps in both calves. It was frustrating and I and my partner had a really difficult time.
We wanted to forget about the match as quickly as we could. Great news were that the awards dinner was organised for the evening. We were awarded the best team of the Yorkshire Series thanks to our attendance of all events and consistent results. This was a sweet dot of the season, the first season that we played beach volleyball more seriously.
A big thank you goes to my friend and beach partner Cristina ❤ and to duo Piotr and Marz. You are the best! I am looking forward the next season with Yorkshire Series..