Beach volleyball star happy to draw attention to her backside

Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney in action
Shauna Mullin and Zara Dampney in action
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SHE is behind one of Britain’s medal hopes in the 2012 Olympic Games – quite literally.

But Edinburgh’s Shauna Mullin has revealed she has no problem with the recent attention her backside has received.

Shauna Mullin

Shauna Mullin

In fact, she is happy for her skimpy beach volleyball bikini to attract the crowds if it means they will follow the sport and rally her Great Britain female team on to next year’s Olympics.

The 26-year-old said: “Even if people come to our matches simply because of the bikinis, hopefully they will leave having enjoyed an amazing sporting experience.

“We don’t really think about our bodies being on show. People ask us how we do it, but we have been wearing bikinis for so long it’s just second nature. We’re in bikinis more than any other clothes.”

Shauna, a former Mary Erskine’s pupil, hit the headlines earlier this month for agreeing to a sponsorship deal that involves a barcode being emblazoned on her bikini bottoms, allowing crowds to photograph it with a smartphone to then be taken to a bookmaker’s website.

The top-ranked female beach volleyball player, along with her team mate Zara Dampney, 24, from Poole, received mass attention for the move, as well as criticism from feminists who questioned a lack of seriousness in women’s sports.

Shauna, who grew up in Ravelston, said: “We never expected the publicity or the press attention. My dad was in Jordan at the time and phoned me to tell me my bum was even getting attention over there.

“We found it all really funny and the attention was actually really good for us – and our sponsor.”

The sportswoman has being playing volleyball since she was a teenager and has represented the city, Scotland and Great Britain across the world.

She is currently competing in Finland having appeared in London last week at an Olympic test event where she and Zara were beaten in the quarter finals by Brazil.

She said: “We only have control over our bikini bottoms as we are given the tops. So if you have a sponsor it’s going to feature on your bum. It really helps to have a sponsorship deal as it keeps us out of our overdrafts.”

The Great Britain beach volleyball team is currently ranked 24th in the world and must rise to 16th by next June if it is to be assured of a definite place in the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

It is deemed likely that based on its current performance, and record throughout the season, such a place will be secured.

Shauna said: “If we play well, a medal wouldn’t be out of the question.”

Hopefully thousands of supporters will be there too to rally the side on – as well as, more than likely, many men intrigued by the sportswomen’s skimpy clothing.

Shauna said: “At the test event in London there were five guys sitting behind my mum who afterwards said they came to watch simply because it was women’s beach volleyball. But they said they would be following us from now on because of the amazing sporting experience they’d had.”