Local sportsmen and women to play in first ever European Championships Tour event in Beach Volleyball to be held in UK

14 August 08 | Category: Volleyball

Bath-based members of Great Britain’s beach volleyball squad, will compete against top international teams when Blackpool hosts the NESTEA English Masters – the UK’s first ever European Championships Tour event in beach volleyball – from 11-14 September.

Several British players who train at the University of Bath will take on teams from European countries as varied as Finland, Latvia, Spain, Israel and Greece.

Team Bath’s Denise Johns, Lucy Boulton, Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin all competed in Blackpool’s 2007 invitational event and will return to the resort for the 2008 competition. They are joined by several other members of the women’s squad, as well as top men’s team players Gregg Weaver, Steven Grotowski, Jody Gooding and Robin Miedzybrodzki.

Beach volleyballers in action

Over 90 teams from across 20 different European countries have signed up to take part in the English Masters, including 16 pairings who will be competing in the Beijing Olympic Games. Blackpool’s English Masters will be the first event of this level after the UK takes over as the host of the next Olympic Games in 2012.

The event will take place on six purpose-built arenas on Blackpool’s iconic Promenade against the backdrop of the world-famous Illuminations, which will coincide with the event. The World Fireworks Championships will provide a spectacular back-drop for the floodlit evening matches. There will also be a junior tournament and a youth skills camp run alongside the main event.

Visit Blackpool won their bid for a European Championships Tour event off the back of Blackpool’s successful staging of the UK’s first FIVB international tournament in 2007. The European Championships Tour is new to the UK, but it enjoys a huge public following abroad with international press and TV coverage and a final which counts towards Olympic qualification.

The English Masters is supported by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and has received backing from the English Volleyball Association. Commented English Volleyball Association President, Richard Callicott:  “We are absolutely delighted that Blackpool is to stage this prestigious event.

“To have England included in the annual European tour sends a very positive message to the international volleyball community in the run up to the London Olympic Games in 2012.”

Peter Mearns, Executive Director of Marketing at the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), said: “It’s great that the English Masters tournament will be held in Blackpool and is testament to Blackpool’s recent success in hosting the International Beach Volleyball tournament in September.

“The NWDA is investing £3.5million in Blackpool over three years to fund a unique programme of significant events such as this tournament which will attract visitors, boost business and showcase Blackpool as an attractive international resort for leisure and for major events.”

The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its Team Bath brand, its success is based on the expertiseand dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the communityand Olympic medal winners alike.

Members of the media who require further information can contact the Team Bath Press Office at Matchtight Ltd on (01225) 383518 or see the Team Bath website.

Posted: Thursday 14th August 2008

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