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Paraguayan pair hope to bring beach volleyball into mainstream

Having enjoyed their first taste of life at an FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Mazury, Paraguay’s Patricia ‘Pati’ Caballero and Michelle Valiente are hopeful that their participation will help the sport grow back in their homeland.

The duo were swamped with requests from the Paraguayan sporting media and were hopeful that by pushing football off the back pages and airwaves, they could raise the profile of beach volleyball.

“We want to play as long as we can and motivate the children and younger people to play, so some day they can play professionally,” Pati said. “Not only to participate but also to win competitions and appear in tournaments like this.”

The pair have to fight hard to find funds to compete internationally. Pati juggles life as a wife and mother with a fulltime job, while 15-year-old Valiente is still at school.

As such the World Championships was only their second FIVB event of the year, along with the Corrientes Grand Slam. They also competed on the South American Tour, but costs mean that they can only really compete if there isn’t too much travel involved.

At Beach Volleyball World Championships in Mazury the pair thoroughly enjoyed themselves despite slipping to three losses in their pool stage.

“I am very proud, because it’s a great opportunity to represent my country, but at the same time I am very nervous,” Pati added. “It’s my first time at such a big event.”


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