Edinburgh’s Meggetland is to provide a backdrop for some of the UK’s best beach volleyball players this summer.
London 2012 Olympian Shauna Mullin, 28, and partner Anneka Hastings, 27, will take to the temporary sands of the Meggetland Sports Complex to compete in the British Invitational Masters Tournament on June 7.
The sport, with its bikini-clad female players from across the world, was one of the most popular at last year’s London Games.
Hometown girls and former City of Edinburgh teammates Shauna and Anneka hope the crowds will flock to their upcoming event which takes place as part of the inaugural Edinburgh 7s Festival featuring a range of other sports such as rugby, football and hockey.
Former Scottish indoor internationalist Shauna and her English partner, Zara Dampney, came close to a place in the last 16 on Horse Guards Parade in London last summer.
She said: “I cannot wait to be involved with this. London 2012 was amazing and I can’t wait to recreate some of the passion and atmosphere that was created there around the beach volleyball in my favourite city, Edinburgh. I remember after the Games we visited a number of different city schools and the interest and enthusiasm shown was fantastic. Hopefully, these guys will also turn out for the Edinburgh 7s.
“The last time I played competively in Edinburgh was during the Urban City beach tour in Princes Street Gardens back in 2007.”
Born in South Africa, Shauna grew up in the Capital and was educated at Mary Erskine’s and Heriot-Watt University.
Now retired from top-level international competition, she has recently begun working in business development and marketing in London and, along with former playing partner Dampney, has established a new fitness concept – volleybody –which uses beach volleyball training techniques to get people fit.
She added: “It’s based on the work we did in the lead-up to the Olympics. Beach volleyball is a lot tougher than people think – you need good cardiovascular fitness plus strength and stamina.
“You need to remember that we’re running and jumping on sand all the time and that takes it out of you. It’s a great sport, one in which I’ve been able to travel the world competing. I owe it alot.”
Festival director Gordon Hood said: “This festival has been two years in the making following my original idea to put together a multi-sports event. We’re delighted to have elite beach volleyball included alongside elite rugby 7s as we feel the two go very well together – both engender a young audience while both sports are also fast and dynamic.”
The inaugural Edinburgh 7s Festival takes place over three days at Meggetland from June 7-10. For more information visit www.edinburgh7sfestival.com.