England aces hit top form in Grand Slam event at Brid

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England stars were among the athletes going for gold in the UKBT Grand Slam 5-star beach volleyball contest at Bridlington.

Teams from throughout Britain and France produced top class performances on the courts set up on the golden sands of the East coast resort in an event which is part of a bigger plan by organisers Skyball Beach Volleyball Club.

Club events coordinator and coach Piotr Makowski explained: “Our goal has always been to raise the standard of the game among the players from North of England, to close the big gap between the South and the North and last weekend has shown us that this gap is now narrowing.”

Active Coast, run by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, backs the Grand Slam event, which is the highest in the country, and provided a variety of activities at the site on the day and throughout the summer season.

Piotr, who is a co-founder of the two-year-old Bridlington-based Skyball club, added: “We feel privileged to have such fantastic partners like UKBT and Active Coast.

“All our teams work incredibly hard to provide the players with the highest possible standard of beach volleyball experience, including local amateurs, children and beginners.

“Our next steps are to develop a Junior BV Academy and to find a home for inland courts in the area of York for more training opportunities for the wider community.”

Organisers of the UKBT event include former Commonwealth Games and professional UK number one player Jake Sheaf as director.

Bridlington was the first event in the series with two more to go at Weymouth and Bournemouth being the final.

In total 16 men and 12 female teams took part over the two days at Bridlington.

In a captivating final, winners of the women’s contest were England pair Jessica Grimston and Vicky Palmer, with Skyball players Virag Farkas and Daniela Valissik in silver.

In bronze were London-based Italians Giuditta Mazzoni and Federica Ferretti.

Gold in an exciting men’s contest was woo by Issa Batrane, number two in the country, and his partner Arnaud Louiseau who flew in from France to take part.

Silver went to Mark Garcia-Kidd and Phil Smith, currently ranked number one in the country,.

Bronze medal glory went to Skyball players Adam Meszczynski and Lenard Sobieracki.

Piotr added: “We are so proud of our club players with whom we trained and played for a few years now.”

The next Skyball action at Bridlington will be a tournament for juniors on Sunday, July 28 as teams from throughout the country are expected to compete in the UKBT one star contest in two-a-side King and Queen of the beach in Under-18s and Under-15s, plus a three-a-side.