Great Britain Olympic indoor volleyball captain Lynne Beattie pairs up with Gillian Lyall in CEV Continental Cup on Portobello beach this weekend, content that her sport is back in the spotlight.
In an early qualifier for Rio 2016, Beattie and her partner can allow themselves to dream, but her priorities have changed since London 2012.
In a professional career which saw her play in Slovenia, Italy, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, Beattie, pictured, helped Team Northumbria to the English title last season. But she has now returned north to work for the Scottish Volleyball Association as East Development Officer.
Now she wants to use her skills indoors and on the beach to inspire the next generation. Funding for Great Britain teams – indoors and out – was withdrawn after the Olympics, but Beattie is convinced the sport can still cash in.
“There has been some momentum and it’s my job now to help contribute. I see the legacy from an athlete point of view and I think more could have been done,” the 28 year-old said. “But there’s still a huge opportunity out there. We have indoor and beach international teams now. The one thing in volleyball’s favour is that you can play it all year round. You play indoors in the winter and beach in the summer.
“There’s been no close-season for me this year. I played indoors for Scotland in the European Championships in Perth and the next weekend I was off to Slovenia for the Continental Beach Cup.
“A national performance centre is being set up at Heriot-Watt and that is something young players can aspire to. It can only help the pathway from school to club to international.
“I was very jealous of the Commonwealth Games, to tell the truth. It was disappointing for volleyball not to be involved, but, at the same time, you could see the impact sport could have on a city and the Scottish people and that has to be encouraging for any sport.”
This weekend’s competition – matches run all day Saturday and Sunday – is free for spectators.
In the men’s event where Slovakia, Northern Ireland and Ireland are the opposition, Scotland are represented by Robin Miedzydrodzki and Seain Cook and Edinburgh pair Jamie McHardy and Graham Riddle.