London 2012
Lynne Beattie is leading the charge for Team GB in London
The 26-year-old put her career as a pharmacist on hold as she looked to make the London 2012 Olympic Games
She now captains a side that showed great promise in their opening match against world champions Russia, despite a straight sets loss
She has high hopes of volleyball becoming more popular in the UK, saying she wants to "inspire the nation"
Beattie has also indicated that her side are hoping for a place in the quarterfinals, but will need to finish in the top four of their group to do so
After her first match, Beattie said she had never faced a block as high as the Russian one

 

The pharmacy can wait for Lynne Beattie

London, July 30, 2012 - She’s the sport expert. Several athletes from Great Britain team competing at Earls Court had experiences in clubs abroad before the Olympics, but captain Lynne Beattie had probably the perfect sport training because she can hit the ball and she can… heal the pain. In 2008, while other players who are here today in London were competing in Beijing, the 26-year-old athlete split her time between the gym and a pharmacy in Doncaster. “Being a qualified pharmacist, I put that apart when the possibility of playing the Olympic Games showed up”.

London, July 30, 2012 - She’s the sport expert. Several athletes from Great Britain team competing at Earls Court had experiences in clubs abroad before the Olympics, but captain Lynne Beattie had probably the perfect sport training because she can hit the ball and she can… heal the pain.

In 2008, while other players who are here today in London were competing in Beijing, the 26-year-old athlete split her time between the gym and a pharmacy in Doncaster. “Being a qualified pharmacist, I put that apart when the possibility of playing the Olympic Games showed up”.

So she started a new life with full time volleyball. Last season in Las Palmas, Spain, and even if a new contract is not yet signed she dreams to continue her professional volleyball path after Earls Court joining a new club for the upcoming winter. And on Saturday she fulfilled her dream.

“It’s absolutely an amazing feeling to be here and to have 15,000 British people behind you. It’s the first time that we’re playing the Olympic Games, it’s something that makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. To have an opening game against Russia, which is such an amazing team itself, was a really good Olympic debut for us.”

Russia, not exactly a weak opponent. Despite the bookmakers, Great Britain fought until the very last ball. “You can never face higher block than the Russian” says Beattie, “but we were sure that we could compete with them. We can take a lot of positives from that and a lot of confidence. We know that we can play with the best teams in the world.”

The National Federation made all their possible effort to raise the popularity of the sport. However, despite the warm welcome to the team in Earls Court, the popularity of volleyball in Great Britain is not so high. Captain Beattie thinks that the Olympics will be a huge step ahead. “Since the bid, things have gone so good. As players, we visited many schools , we presented our sport to so many people, kids and adults… Being here today, with 15,000 people watching us live and millions of them watching on television, I hope we can inspire the nation in favour of volleyball.”

This is Great Britain legacy. This is Beattie’s promise. “I have a pharmacy to go back to, but volleyball now it’s what I want to do.”

The real career of her life, the one that she studied for, can wait. She wants first to give her best in what she learned since she was 12.

Jumping. Spiking.

 

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It’s absolutely an amazing feeling to play with 15,000 British people behind you
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Additional information

Lynne Beattie's first club was "Su Ragazzi Vollyball Club" in Glasgow.

Quite a funny name for a Scottish Club. The reason is that the founders in 1984 heard this stirring up in a town twinning volleyball tournament in Turin, Italy. "Su ragazzi" means "C'mon boys" in Italian