With just 282 days to go before the London 2012 Olympic games, the Great Britain women’s volleyball team are working harder than ever to ensure they can ensure a medal winning performance.
Lynne Beattie, a former Mearns Castle pupil, will captain the team.
The 25-year-old, who was once head girl at the school, shared her experiences, in the run up to the games, with The Extra.
“In TERMS of preparation, this is the most important year for the team. All 18 GB squad players are playing in Europe’s top leagues with the challenge of becoming better players so when we are reunited in May 2012, we can get straight into our final team preparations.
“Only 12 players will be selected from this squad to represent GB at London 2012 so as players, we want to do everything we can to make sure we are selected.
“We have to push ourselves to our limits every day until July 28, the date of our first match of the Olympics.
“From May to July 2012, we must prepare the best we can if we are to achieve our potential of success.
“Although we do have a number of fundraising initiatives, after losing UKSport funding last year, we are looking at how to fund our team preparations.
“That sponsor could play a huge part in our success and could be the name of the GB Women’s Volleyball Team.
“One fundraising initiative is Adopt an Olympian. This involves schools opting to adopt us as players by hosting fundraising events at their school, such as non-uniform days, with proceeds going towards our training.
“My former school, Mearns Castle High school has adopted me and the support we from them has been unbelievable. They hosted a non-uniform day for the school and also hosted a fun run.
“I attended the race to thank the school for their support. I was also invited back to the school to present at the senior awards ceremony in September.
“It was great to be able to give something back to the school, in thanks for their amazing support to myself and the team.
“Three weeks ago, I moved to Gran Canaria to play for CV Las Palmas for my final year of preparation.
“I have always wanted to play in the Spanish SuperLiga A1. The level is high and the speed of the game suits me.
“It will challenge me and push me to be the best player I can be.
“The league doesn’t start until November but pre-season is going well.
“I am working hard in the gym and on the court and have settled in nicely.
“Having played in Italy, Germany and Slovenia, I know it takes time to adapt to new surroundings, a new team and new cultures, so this year I have been patient and am really enjoying the experience so far.
We are all training hard and want to do as well as we can, I hope more local schools will get involved in supporting us, we need their support on our quest for Olympic success.
To find out how to support the team, please visit www.gbwomensvolleyball.co.uk or follow the team on Facebook (Great Britain Women’s Volleyball Team) and Twitter (GBRVolleyball) for regular updates.