Queensferry volleyball duo picked for Commonwealth Games

Emma Waldie (right) and Jennifer Lee (left) with coach Colin Patterson
Emma Waldie (right) and Jennifer Lee (left) with coach Colin Patterson

Two teenagers from South Queensferry have been chosen to represent Team Scotland in beach volleyball at the Youth Commonwealth Games.

Emma Waldie (16) and Jennifer Lee (17) will compete in the Bahamas from July 19-23.

The two Queensferry High pupils have come through the ranks at City of Edinburgh VC, which is based at the school, coming through the junior teams to now play in the senior side.

They have already represented Scotland in both beach and indoor volleyball; however this is the first time beach volleyball has featured in the Commonwealth Games programme.

While thrilled at their success, the girls admit it can be difficult to juggle volleyball with their studies at times.

However Emma said: “We both have very similar views on our school/sport balance and have been able to structure our training schedule round our exam dates.

“We are very fortunate to have a fantastic support network of coaches and teachers who have helped us prepare for our Higher exams whilst training for such a high-profile event.

“We are also both coaches at City of Edinburgh Volleyball Club and we are always stressing to younger athletes that being organised is the key to a successful student/athlete life.”

Jennifer feels the pair’s friendship and experience of playing before as a beach pair could be key to how well they fare in the Bahamas.

She said: “Knowing your partner like the back of your hand is the key to a successful beach pairing.

“We are extremely lucky that we get on well and have a strong friendship outside of training. We are both very familiar with each other’s abilities, strengths and weaknesses having played in a number of competitions together whilst we have also played together with City of Edinburgh for a number of years.

“We are currently analysing the strengths and weaknesses of the pairs we will face out of there with the help of our wonderful coach, Colin Patterson. Part of this involves gathering information of the individual athletes and their experience as a pair whilst evaluating the physical and mental strength of our opponents through video analysis.

Emma added: “At this stage in training we are focussed on micro-targets such as establishing consistency in a variety of shots and improving our overall ‘sand fitness’. However, a huge motivation for us is our overall goal - to medal. As our competitor’s profiles expand our targets may become increasingly ambitious but for now we would be content with a medal.

Ian Brownlee, head coach of the club’s youth programmes, said: “Who would have thought that when Emma and Jenny started off playing volleyball at primary school that they would be representing Team Scotland at beach volleyball at the Commonwealth Youth Games one day?

“It is a fantastic achievement to be selected, following years of commitment to training and competitions, the hard work of their coaches, and support from their families.

“We are delighted that the youth volleyball programmes we have established in Queensferry and cluster have given the athletes the development and support that they need to compete on the world stage. We wish Emma and Jenny the best of luck in the Bahamas.”