VICKY Palmer is hoping dedication will pay off when she and beach volleyball partner Jess Grimson compete in the Commonwealth Games next month.

Poole's Palmer and Bournemouth's Grimson will be the first female pair to represent England in the Commonwealths, which take place on Australia's Gold Coast.

The duo are confident of winning a medal and have been grouped with Canada, Trinidad & Tobago and Fiji in the initial stage.

Each team plays each other once before quarter-finals, semi-finals and gold and bronze medal matches take place.

Grimson and Palmer self-funded their path to the Commonwealths, a hardship which their male counterparts did not have to contend with.

Reflecting on the duo's characteristics, Palmer said: “To be number one in any sport, you have to be really dedicated.

"Both me and Jess have been through a lot of setbacks and that dedication is something that we have in common.

"When I first met Jess, I quickly realised we were super-competitive on and off the court.

"It actually shocked me to see how competitive she was because I had always been the most competitive.

"We’ve always wanted more, whatever we have achieved. Seeing the sacrifices that Jess made for the sport, it was really special to find that in a partner.”