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  Fun, sun and hot Olympic standard athletic action hit the prom at Blackpool when the Nestea European Championship Tour came to the UK for the first time.

More than 50 of Europe's top beach volleyball teams, including players from the Beijing Olympics, treated the crowds to a thrilling series of matches during the four day event

Watch QuickTime movie clip English Masters 2008 »

The atmosphere in the packed stadium was infectious as foot tapping music and tournament presenters encouraged the audience to join the fun and be part of a sport in which audience participation is not only encouraged, it is expected by the players.

Said presenter Simon Golding: "Bearing in mind the British audience had never experienced this before, their reaction was amazing.

 
simon golding presenter
beach volleyball audience
 

"They joined in and played their part from the very first serve making my job very easy!

"If the Blackpool experience is anything to go by, British Beach Volleyball is heading for a huge future."

Added tournament director, Jeff Brehaut: "Response of everyone from players and officials to the Blackpool audience has been overwhelming. I have officiated at beach volleyball tournaments around the world from World Tour to the Olympics and I am proud to say that Blackpool's English Masters is being rated amongst the very best."

'Everyone I have spoken to has told me how brilliant the event was. Congratulations to all of you for your outstanding efforts, skill and professionalism in creating such a great success.'

'Just wanted to drop you a brief note to say how much I enjoyed and to be honest was blown away somewhat at the event last week - it was a really great, and hopefully part of the future template for Blackpool.'

 
blackpool beach volleyball action


'I just wanted to write to thank you and your team for all their hard work in putting on the beach volleyball.  It was so professionally run and the crowds really got into the spirit of things, as did the players.  It was great to see so many visitors enjoying themselves inside the arena but also on the beach. When we left we also saw children playing volleyball on the beach...'

beach tournament winners
 

The finals were played in front of live international TV, with Dutch men's pair Nummerdor/Schuil taking just 38 minutes to beat Switzerland's Heuscher/Heyer in two sets, 15:21 - 18:21.

A thrilling women's final saw Arvanity/Karadassiou from Greece take over an hour and three sets to beat Finnish twins Erica and Emilia Nyström 21:13 - 18:21 - 15:11.

tournament volunteer
 

Sustainability and community involvement are key elements in Blackpool's plans for beach sports and form an integral part of the BVUK tournament package.

More than 100 youngsters from local schools and colleges acted as linesmen and women, rakers and ball kids, drawing considerable praise from match officials, at least one international referee commenting that they performed like seasoned professionals.

The week before, more than 600 local school children took part in 'Volley on the Prom', four days of coaching and matches on the sand.

 

nestea dancers

 

Watch out for the 2009 English Masters at Blackpool - even bigger, better and huge fun!

 
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Our team includes professional volleyball people who plan and manage the technical and sport aspects of World Class tournaments from European to World Tour and Olympic level.

Help put UK Beach Volleyball at the top of the game - call 0844 2849 75560 or email HERE »

 

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