Sandbanks Beach Volleyball Festival

This year, the Sandbanks Beach Volleyball Festival became truly international for the first time.  Although it was for juniors only this year, there were three teams from the Scottish Development Squad, a team from Spain and 9 teams from the regional academy at Zwolle, Holland (which Wessex have twinned with).  The result was that the English players had to raise their standard of play in order to compete successfully and many players did.

Photo credit Roger Tutt

With over 100 teams, 16 competitions, including the eight British Junior Championship each running over 2 days, this was the biggest junior beach tournament yet.  Indeed, the 15 courts in use on Saturday had to be increased to 18 for Sunday.

Aaron Walrond and Koko Stoimenov (yellow)

Dutch teams won 5 competitions, reflecting their twice daily training regime at home, and the Spanish Bello brothers showed their excellent skills in winning the U13 boys.  However, several English teams showed their class too, winning four of the major titles :

–    Paige Nelmes & Mechel Daniels beat fellow England Juniors Gemma Beddows & Annie Tinker in a close U21 Women’s Final
–    Ed Evans & Carl Butcher beat Craig Duckmanton & Aaron Robertson in the U21 Men’s Final
–    Koko Stoimenov & Aaron Walrond beat Jack Constable & Sam Dunbavin in the U17 Boys Final
–    Joel Roberts & Richard James beat Harrie and Alfie Constable in the U15 Boys Final

Trophy presentation: Chris Turner from Rocare / Rokill and Tim Hollis, former GB, 5 times National Beach Champion and World Beach Tour player with the Under 13 Girls winners

As always there are things that can be improved but there was a lot of very positive feedback after the weekend, both for the tournament and for the ever-improving standard of junior beach volleyball in this country.

Full set of results: Sandbank_results

Geoff Allen

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