Coutts turning to the past ahead of second Commonwealth Games start

·3-min read
Melissa Coutts will compete as part of Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games (AAPIMAGE via Reuters Connect)

By Megan Armitage, Sportsbeat

Edinburgh's Mellissa Coutts is banking on past experiences to help prepare for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The 49-year-old will once again partner up with beach volleyball teammate Lynne Beattie for their second 'friendly' Games this summer and stated how their Gold Coast experience will be the backdrop for their preparation.

Beach Volleyball made its Commonwealth Games debut in 2018 which meant that Coutts missed out on competing at a home Games in Glasgow, but out on the Gold Coast, the pair made waves, reaching the quarterfinals, and ending their campaign in a loss to eventual gold medallists Canada.

With the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games set to inspire people and communities across the country this summer, Coutts hopes sharing her story will give others motivation to get involved in sport and turn their dreams into reality.

She said: "In the Gold Coast it was obviously our first time, and it was brilliant, it was an incredible experience and we got through to the quarter finals.

"I think it's competing on that kind of stage with all the extra interests around it and that kind of thing and taking that experience into Birmingham.

"We've got three of the good teams in our pool and we've got game plans against them all and knowing how that feels and having that bit of experience behind us I think is going to be different.

"And it is going to be different in Birmingham, it's a lot less anonymous if you like than Gold Coast so it feels a bit more like a home Games.

"There's already quite a strong following of beach volleyball [in Portobello] and we train there and a lot of people wishing us luck for Birmingham because they know that we're going."

This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, will compromise of over 250 athletes, and having secured her place on the squad, Coutts is looking for medal success.

Coutts is a Scottish veteran of the sport and has played professional beach volleyball in Mexico and been on the FIVB World Tour and European Circuit with various partners over the years.

Coutts and Beattie formed their pairing back in 2015 and have developed a strong friendship on and off the court which has aided their success.

She said: "It's a bit of a journey a partnership like this and you have to work through different things.

"I think the on-court environment is so intense, so you have to know how to support your partner, to help things not to do.

"And we're very fortunate because we get on really well off-court so we're also able to talk about things if we need to.

"So, I think that is possibly one of the strengths is that kind of communication and working on the actual playing.

"I think sometimes when one in the pair is struggling the other steps up and vice versa and we're quite good at that."

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