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Bournemouth prepares for Continental Cup event

London Olympian Zara Dampney to defend England's honour in CEV Continental Cup
Bournemouth, England, June 20, 2014 - LeAF Academy is making the final preparations for pool D of the first round of the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup, which is also the beginning of Europe’s qualification route to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The event in Bournemouth is the first international beach volleyball competition to be held in England since the London 2012 Olympic Games. The competition will run on June 21 and 22 at LeAF Academy, where staff has been working around the clock to ensure the brand new outdoor beach volleyball facilities are ready to host the international tournament.

Men’s and women’s teams from England, Ireland, Slovakia, Switzerland (men only) and Sweden (women only) will be traveling to the seaside town of Bournemouth on the South Coast of England with the hope of securing a place in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. England's women features local player Zara Dampney, who represented Great Britain at the London Olympics.

The event is free to all members of the public and there will be a Go Spike! court set up throughout Saturday and Sunday, where everyone will be welcome to come and have a go at volleyball. There will also be a Go Spike! speed cage to find out who can hit the hardest with prizes to be won for the fastest spike. London 2012 Olympians Maria Bertelli and Lynne Beattie will be running a volleyball master class session on Sunday which is also free to attend.

Philip Smith, representing England’s men, said: "Training has been going really well and we are excited to be playing in England in an International competition. Hopefully we get a big crowd here this weekend to get behind the team."

Jessica Grimson is representing England’s women and also works for LeAF Academy. "After being selected to be in the top six from our trial group, training has increased in both volume and intensity," she said.  "It has been great to be in a structured program with regular training and to work with someone like Kirk, the interim head coach. I have learnt so much in such a short space of time I am hoping it will all transfer when it comes to game day! For England to be picked to host a round is exciting, but to be in Bournemouth and at my place of work is amazing. To watch my familiar surroundings being transformed into the competition venue has been awesome. I have only ever played junior events, but I cannot wait to be representing my country on home soil and in front of my family and friends. It will be unforgettable."

Lisa Wainwright, Volleyball England Chief Executive, added:  "It promises to be a great weekend of beach volleyball and we hope it inspires future athletes to represent England and compete at the highest level. I know the athletes are looking forward to competing this weekend and we hope a home advantage will help them to progress to the next round of the competition."

Play will commence first thing Saturday morning with the playing schedule to be confirmed at the technical meeting on Friday night.

Click here for more detailed information on the 2014-2016 CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup.

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