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2018-02-27 21:01:00 CET

From farm to Fort Lauderdale

Scottish girls set their sights on Australia

Lynne Beattie (right) and Melissa Coutts are heading to the Commonwealth Games in AprilLynne Beattie (right) and Melissa Coutts are heading to the Commonwealth Games in April

From training inside a barn at farm in Scotland to mixing it with the world’s best on the beach at the Fort Lauderdale Major – life is never dull for Scottish beach volleyball duo Lynne Beattie and Melissa Coutts.

The partnership may have lost their qualification match against World Tour regulars Bieneck/Schneider – running the Germans close 15-21, 17-21 – but they have their eyes fixed on glory at the Commonwealth Games in April.

And the pair hope that their experience on Floridian sand can help them in their quest for success Down Under.

“This is a preparation tournament for that,” said Coutts, who at 47 will be the oldest competitor at the Fort Lauderdale Major this year. “We had a healthy competition today, shall we say, and we’re just going to play as many games as we can while we’re here.

“We have finally got ourselves an indoor facility. For about two years, we’ve been training outside so it’s very different conditions for us. But we live on an island so we have beaches, which seems to surprise people!

“Edinburgh has beaches and we train there when we can. Usually the only thing that stops us is when the sand turns to ice and it’s too hard.”

The indoor facility is actually a barn at a Scottish farm not far from their Edinburgh base. It’s something that has caught the imagination of the public and Beattie hopes it can help put them and Scottish beach volleyball on the map.

Productive double session @ #thebarn today; it's amazing to be in there & will be pivotal in our preparations for @gc2018 #goingtogoldcoast

47 Likes, 2 Comments - Beattie/Coutts (@beattie_coutts) on Instagram: "Productive double session @ #thebarn today; it's amazing to be in there & will be pivotal in our..."

“Since it was announced that we’re heading to Australia, there’s been a huge growth in popularity in the sport in our country and I think people are starting to see what we’re doing even in the bad weather in Scotland,” Beattie says.

“It’s going to raise the profile of the sport in our country and for us, it’s an opportunity to showcase us on the world stage. It’s the only chance Scottish people get to compete for Scotland in a multi-sport games so it’s massive for us.”

The pair will now return to the UK before flying out to Australia to prepare for the biggest tournament of their careers so far. Good luck, girls!

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