THE cream of Britain’s young volleyball talent competed in the annual Sandbanks Beach Volleyball Festival on Sunday with many local participants setting the national standard.
Poole Grammar School student Harry Jones, 16, partnered 15-year-old Ryan Poole (Hertfordshire) to lift the British under-18s championship with victory over Sam Allen and Nathan Fullerton from Bournemouth’s LeAF Academy.
Jones and Poole almost made it a memorable double but lost out to Sam Walrond (LeAF) and Hayden Lawson (Croyde, Devon) in the final of the under-20 age group.
In the girls' British Championships, LeAF duo Paige Fullerton and Maria Georgopolou took the British under-20 crown as they saw off Jade Butcher (Bournemouth University) and Emma Crane (LeAF).
Yasmin Kaashoek (LeAF) and Anaya Evans (Croyde) showed their potential with success in the under-18 title, beating Grace Lazard and Maria Georgopolou (LeAF).
Among the other notable performers were Ed Van Wingerden (Highcliffe School) and Tom Allen (Lytchett Minster School), who lost to the Bello brothers from Spain in the under-16 boys’ final.
The event boasted some 140 junior teams across 19 competitions with entries up by a third on last year.
Wessex Volleyball chairman Geoff Allen said: “I would like to thank our team of volunteers whose dedication in preparing everything ensured everybody had an enjoyable time.
“So many people came together to make it possible including free water donated by Asda and Fitness First, free sun cream donated by Boots and free physiotherapy and massage services provided by Bournemouth University.”