Tag Archives: beach

Beach volleyball initiative launched by Zara Dampney

Give it a go! Team GB star Dampney gets behind new beach volleyball initiative

Olympics, the British public are being given the chance to try it for themselves.

The sport was one of the highlights of the Games as crowds flocked to the Horse Guards Parade last summer.

And Team GB star Zara Dampney is hoping a new initiative can encourage more people to take the fast-paced, action-packed discipline.

Zara Dampney

Zara Dampney

Best of British: Zoe Dampney was part of Team GB and the beach volleyball squad at London 2012

The Go Spike Big Weekend, which runs from May 25-27, offers the chance to take part in beach, indoor, outdoor and sitting volleyball at various venues across England.

'I’m incredibly excited about the Go Spike Big Weekend and think it will be a fantastic showcase of everything volleyball has to offer,' Dampney said. 'Everyone from kids to retired people should experience the enjoyment and the health benefits of volleyball.

'People don’t realise just how accessible volleyball is – there are facilities for all versions of the sport right across the country, and I hope that once people give it a go they will join up and make volleyball a regular part of their lives and enjoy it just as much as I do.'

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

Popular: Beach volleyball was introduced to a whole new set of fans last year in London

For further information on the Go Spike Big Weekend and details of events across England visit www.gospike.net

Bulgaria golf resort Thracian Cliffs to host World Match Play Championship in 2013

Bulgaria's 'Pebble Beach of Europe' picked to host 2013 World Match Play title

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UPDATED:

08:24 GMT, 23 October 2012

Bulgaria will host a European Tour event for the first time when the 2013 World Match Play Championship is staged at stunning Black Sea resort of Thracian Cliffs.

Organisers said that the move from Andalucia in Spain, where the tournament has been staged for the last three years, to Bulgaria was part of a plan to rotate the venue of the championship that has been in operation since 1964.

Yet the news comes just one month after financial problems saw the Andalucian Masters cancelled in the Spanish region.

Pure delight: Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach resort in Bulgaria will play host to next year's World Match Play championship

Pure delight: Thracian Cliffs Golf & Beach resort in Bulgaria will play host to next year's World Match Play championship

Golf blog

'This is a real coup to be chosen to host such a prestigious international tournament with a rich heritage and sporting tradition,' said Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boiko Borisov.

'The recent growth of golf in our country will have the opportunity to be showcased around the world.'

Some of the biggest names in the sport have won the World Match Play – Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Greg Norman, the late Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and South African Ernie Els who has lifted the trophy a record seven times.

Player designed Thracian Cliffs and the course has been described as the 'Pebble Beach of Europe', a reference to the spectacular championship links in California.

Glorious greens: The Bulgarian resort, designed by Gary Player, is considered the 'Pebble Beach of Europe'

Glorious greens: The Bulgarian resort, designed by Gary Player, is considered the 'Pebble Beach of Europe'

thracian cliffs golf & beach resort, Bulgaria - the venue for the world matchplay championship

Nicolas Colsaerts, a member of Europe's triumphant Ryder Cup team in Chicago last month, will defend his World Match Play title from May 16-19.

'I've never been to Bulgaria but I've heard great things about the country and Thracian Cliffs,' said the Belgian golfer.

Per Ericsson, president of event management for sponsors Volvo, said future venues for the tournament would be announced at a later date.

Hands on: Nicolas Colsaerts will defend his World Match Play title next year in Bulgaria

Hands on: Nicolas Colsaerts will defend his World Match Play title next year in Bulgaria

'While our focus is firmly on delivering a magnificent 2013 championship at Thracian Cliffs, we then plan to rotate the World Match Play between a few very special venues around the world,' he added.

Bulgaria has a population of 7.3 million but there are just six courses and about 600 golfers in the country.

Former international football players Hristo Stoichkov and Krasimir Balakov are regular participants in local tournaments.

Bulgaria was named the undiscovered golf destination of 2012 by the International Golf Travel Market.

Rory McIlroy and Caroline Wozniacki beach trip cancelled due to bad weather

Thunder blow to McIlroy's Turkey hopes and soaks beach trip plans with Wozniacki

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UPDATED:

13:12 GMT, 10 October 2012

Rory McIlroy's plans for a day on the beach with girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki were ruined by a thunderstorm – and the outside chance of still being able to win the 1.5million US dollar (940,000) prize.

World number one McIlroy chipped in for birdie on the final hole of his second group match at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final this morning, only to see opponent Charl Schwartzel follow him in from 12ft.

That meant a one-shot victory for the South African (70 to 71) and a second straight defeat for McIlroy, who was left needing to beat Tiger Woods and see Schwartzel beat Matt Kuchar to have any chance of making the semi-finals.

Cancel your plans: McIlroy had been hoping to hit the beach in Turkey

Cancel your plans: McIlroy had been hoping to hit the beach in Turkey

Turkish Airlines World Golf Final

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Those final group games were due to be played this afternoon but were called off without a shot being hit after a massive thunderstorm, meaning McIlroy will have to return to Antalya Golf Club for at least 18 holes on Thursday.

'It looks like I'll get to spend a day on the beach tomorrow, which will be nice,' McIlroy said after losing to former Masters champion Schwartzel, only to see those plans change when the rains came later in the day.

'It was actually a decent match,' McIlroy added. 'I felt like I played a bit better today, had plenty of chances and just didn't really hole much.

'I got off to a better start and Charl played solid and then birdied three of the last four so I couldn't really do much about that.'

As for his showdown with Woods, which failed to materialise at last month's Ryder Cup, McIlroy added: 'I'll try and keep him out of those semi-finals. I'm sure that's not what the tournament wants but it's what I'm going to try to do.'

Up against it: McIlroy has it all to do after losing a nail-biter with Charl Schwartzel

Up against it: McIlroy has it all to do after losing a nail-biter with Charl Schwartzel

Up against it: McIlroy has it all to do after losing a nail-biter with Charl Schwartzel

Schwartzel, who has been hampered by various injuries this season, has now beaten the world's top two players back to back and said: 'Any time you can do that it's going to give you a lot of confidence.

'I've not had the best of years and decided to have a better attitude towards the game and this certainly helps.'

Woods had lost to Schwartzel on Tuesday but beat Ryder Cup team-mate Matt Kuchar on Wednesday by five shots with a round of 67, four under par.

'It felt good,' said Woods, who won just half a point from his four games in Medinah and admitted on Monday that he had apologised to the four rookies on the US team for his performance.

'I didn't start great with a double-bogey on the second and a bogey on four, but after that I played well.'

Life's a beach! bad weather called a halt to McIlroy's plans for a trip to the beach with Wozniacki

Life's a beach! bad weather called a halt to McIlroy's plans for a trip to the beach with Wozniacki

Life's a beach! bad weather called a halt to McIlroy's plans for a trip to the beach with Wozniacki

The scoring system – with one point for a win in each 18-hole medal match play contest – means that all eight players remain in with a chance of reaching the semi-finals.

Wins for Schwartzel and McIlroy would see Schwartzel through to the semi-finals on three points with McIlroy, Woods and Kuchar all on one point in Group One.

The lowest aggregate score for each player's three matches would then be used to break the tie, with one player joining Schwartzel in the last four.

The same scenario could also unfold in Group Two, with Justin Rose top with two points after beating Lee Westwood (66 to 69), and Webb Simpson (65) joining Westwood on one point by beating Hunter Mahan (67).

Rose faces Simpson and Westwood takes on Mahan in the remaining matches.

Warren Gatland to be named British and Irish Lions head coach on September 4

EXCLUSIVE: Gatland to be unveiled as British Lions coach for Australia tour

PUBLISHED:

21:49 GMT, 21 August 2012

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UPDATED:

21:49 GMT, 21 August 2012

Warren Gatland appointment as the Lions head coach for the tour of Australia next summer is finally due to be confirmed on September 4, almost five months after the freak accident which threatened to ruin his hopes of landing the job.

Gatland was back home in New Zealand in April, shortly after guiding Wales to the second Grand Slam of his tenure, when a fall from a ladder at his beach house left him with two fractured heels.

Set for the top job: Warren Gatland looks set to named as the head coach of the British Lions

Set for the top job: Warren Gatland looks set to named as the head coach of the British Lions

Although the Lions committee had been keen to confirm their head coach by the end of last season, Gatland’s injuries were sufficiently severe to cast doubt on his ability to take the job.

However, the Kiwi was able to allay those fears when Lions officials visited him in New Zealand and they allowed him to continue his rehabilitation knowing he would be appointed.

London 2012 Olympics: LIVE – day three including Tom Daley

LIVE: Olympics – follow all the latest action unfolding on day three

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UPDATED:

03:00 GMT, 30 July 2012

You can keep track of all the latest news, views and pictures from the Olympic Park and beyond with our live coverage. This is your ultimate guide to all the action as it unfolds during London 2012…

Olympics essentials

Sport-by-sport schedule

Live results and stats

Medals table

Latest picture gallery

*Live coverage starts from 8am*

Life's a beach: The beach volleyball takes place at Horse Guards Parade

Life's a beach: The beach volleyball takes place at Horse Guards Parade

London 2012 Olympics: Beach volleyball – Canada beat Great Britain

Great Britain tumble to Canada as beach boys can't delight packed out arena

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UPDATED:

17:43 GMT, 28 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

Steve Grotowski and John Garcia-Thompson's Olympic bid began with a defeat as the British pair went down in straight sets against Canada at a pulsating Horse Guards Parade.

A near-capacity crowd at the 15,000-sweater arena did their best to cheer on the home favourites in their Pool F opener but their opponents just had that bit more guile around the court and emerged with a solid 21-19 21-13 win.

A huge roar welcomed the home pair at the start of the contest on Horse Guards Parade, which marked the first appearance by a British men's team in this sport at Olympic level.

Pure delight: Josh Binstock, left and Martin Reader, celebrate after beating Britain

Pure delight: Josh Binstock, left and Martin Reader, celebrate after beating Britain

Grotowski and Garcia-Thompson were far from overawed by the occasion, matching the Canadian pairing of Martin Reader and Joshua Binstock stride for stride in the early exchanges.

But daylight began to emerge when Canada went 17-15 ahead on a Binstock spike, and although GB got back to 19-19 on a great block by Grotowski, Canada just did enough to take the opener despite a magnificent defensive effort by the home team on set point.

A hugely fortunate touch off the net gave Canada an ace and a 4-1 lead early in the second set, and that lead extended to five points when Reader's dink shot just cleared the outstretched fingers of Grotowski.

Big reach: Steve Grotowski stretches for the ball

Big reach: Steve Grotowski stretches for the ball

Struggle: Britain were beaten well in the end

Struggle: Britain were beaten well in the end

A fluffed spike attempt by Garcia-Thompson saw GB fall 13-6 behind as the crowd began to sense a mood-deflating loss was imminent.

The British pair continued to fight hard despite seeing the gap extend to 10 points, but when needless mistakes began to creep in – Garcia-Thompson sent a serve harmless out of play late on – the writing was on the wall.

The home side saved one match point at 20-12 but Canada got the job done on the next point as Reader's deflected spike hit the sand to end Britain's resistance.

In Pool C Switzerland's Seba Chevallier and Sascha Heyer defeated Xu Linyin and Wu Penggen in three sets, 18-21 21-16 15-12.

Popular: Many spectators came for the sandy action

Popular: Many spectators came for the sandy action

The Chinese pair went into the match as narrow favourites, being ranked five places higher than their opponents on the world list, and duly delivered victory in the first set.

But the Swiss grew into the match – with the animated Heyer more than playing his part in bringing the crowd on side – and rattled off the next two sets to send another Chinese pair crashing to a surprising opening-day loss.

In the women's competition, six-time world champions Larissa Franca and Juliana Silva of Brazil demolished Natacha Rigobert and Elodie Li Yuk Lo of Mauritius 21-5 21-10 in Pool A, while Czech Republic's Marketa Slukova and Kristyna Kolocova rallied to beat Austrian sisters Doris and Stefanie Schwaiger 10-21 21-13 15-13 in Pool C.

Fabio Borini ready to impress at Liverpool

Laid-back Borini ready to unleash his inner beast on the pitch for Liverpool

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 25 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Fabio Borini was lying on a beach in Italy this summer when the realisation dawned that the quiet life he craves would no longer be possible.

Recharging his batteries after a month with the Azzurri at Euro 2012, Borini was savouring the tranquillity when a group of excited children scampered over to him and started mimicking the ‘hand in the mouth’ celebration which has become his trademark.

‘I’m just a normal person who likes to go on my holidays, be with my friends and do what they do,’ said Liverpool’s new 11million striker. ‘I play football but I don’t like the celebrity side. I just like to be at home and chill with my friends, doing the normal things like going to the beach.

A man of simple pleasures: Liverpool's latest signing Fabio Borini enjoys the quiet life off the pitch

A man of simple pleasures: Liverpool's latest signing Fabio Borini enjoys the quiet life off the pitch

‘But it was on the beach when these kids started coming up to me and doing my celebration. It was nice, funny too but also different. A friend of mine said he was watching a Roma game on television one morning with his kids and they started doing it when they saw me.’

There is little doubt Borini is one of life’s more laid back souls but that should hide the fact he is ferociously driven and, in many ways, the way the 21-year-old marks scoring a goal is befitting his on-field character.

‘In Italy we say when one person wants something so much it is like he has a knife between his teeth,’ said Borini, who left home at 16 to join Chelsea, harbouring dreams of becoming a top- flight footballer.

Meeting the locals: Borini signs autographs for fans at Fenway Park

Meeting the locals: Borini signs autographs for fans at Fenway Park

‘As a warrior, as a person, you never give up. I am quiet off the pitch. But the pitch is like when you can bring out a side in yourself that’s maybe the opposite.

‘I just want everything the quickest way possible, I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. But when I want something I want it straight away. That is the way I take it. It only took five seconds to decide I wanted to come to England. It wasn’t a hard decision.’

Nor was it difficult to decide he wanted to leave AS Roma for Anfield. The big lure was the prospect of working with Brendan Rodgers again, as the Northern Irishman has been a guiding light in his career, first at Chelsea, then more recently in Swansea.

Getting to know you: Borini watches Stewart Downing in action as he becomes acquainted with his new team-mates

Getting to know you: Borini watches Stewart Downing in action as he becomes acquainted with his new team-mates

Talk to Rodgers about the impact he anticipates Borini making alongside Luis Suarez and his eyes light up and Liverpool’s number 29 is similarly enthused about the prospect of furthering his career under such an innovative manager.

‘We have followed each other and we have a good relationship,’ said Borini. ‘We have trust for each other. He helped me at Chelsea when I was young. I had a few problems settling into the environment and the English system.

‘Then he helped me at Swansea when I’d been out of the Chelsea team. He gave me the chance to play. He has really helped me, both as a player and a person. He recognises when people have a problem inside. He’s a good person to talk with. He knows when others have problems.

‘He doesn’t play typical English football. He wants to play with the ball on the ground, lots of movement. ’

Getting to know you: Borini relaxes with Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll

Getting to know you: Borini relaxes with Steven Gerrard and Andy Carroll

It had appeared that Borini would spend this season in Serie A, after Roma – who shared him with Parma – took full ownership of his contract in June but once the opportunity came to link up with Rodgers, he was happy to leave the beach behind.

‘When I had been bought by Roma, my thought was to stay there,’ he said. ‘I didn’t expect Liverpool would come and buy me. But then Liverpool came with an offer, Roma thought about it and they asked me what I wanted to do. We agreed I should go to Liverpool.

‘I ended my holiday early because I felt it was important to be with the team. I’m a new player here and I didn’t play at the European Championships. I don’t want to move every year. I want to be a focal point of the team at some stage of my career. Maybe it can be now.’

Mario Balotelli returns to Manchester City pre-season training

Brace yourselves… Balotelli's back! Mario returns to fight for his place at Man City

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UPDATED:

09:03 GMT, 23 July 2012

Fantasy football 2012

Look out… Mario's back. Manchester City brace themselves today for the return of Balotelli with the striker set to report for club duty for the first time following his summer exploits.

Last week he was in Ibiza, where he reportedly racked up the most expensive bar bill ever at one exclusive club.

Balotelli partied with Wayne Lineker, brother of BBC presenter Gary and owner of celebrity haunt the Ocean Beach Club, where the likes of England star's Joe Hart, Andy Carroll and Danny Welbeck let their hair down earlier this summer.

Party's over: Mario Balotelli spent time with Gary Lineker's brother Wayne at his exclusive Ocean Beach Club bar in Ibiza last week

Party's over: Mario Balotelli spent time with Gary Lineker's brother Wayne at his exclusive Ocean Beach Club bar in Ibiza last week

And Lineker revealed on Twitter: 'Wicked night last night in @LinekersIbiza with Mario Barotelli. His bill was the biggest anyone has ever had in 25 years in any Linekers.

'Balotelli has just texted and said @LinekersIbiza was crazy place. Ha'.

But the 21-year-old returns to City's Carrington HQ ahead of linking up with his team-mates in time for their pre-season tour of the Far East.

Smiles better: Balotelli relaxed after the Euros with a summer holiday to party island Ibiza

Smiles better: Balotelli relaxed after the Euros with a summer holiday to party island Ibiza

Felling blue: Balotelli was crestfallen after Spain thrashed Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 Final

Felling blue: Balotelli was crestfallen after Spain thrashed Italy 4-0 in the Euro 2012 Final

While there are seemingly never any certainties with the Italian firebrand, manager Roberto Mancini will hoping Balotelli maintains the same impressive form that saw him inspire Italy to the Euro 2012 final in Kiev.

Last season Mancini was ready to cast him aside after the enigmatic star's red card at Arsenal appeared to ruin City's title challenge. But he returned and played a significant role in their thrilling final day championship clinching victory over QPR.

Now Balotelli is looking forward to defending City's crown although he admits he has an alternative career in mind should things not work out… Ultimate Fighting!

'If I wasn't a footballer I would probably want to do UFC. I really love it,' he said, speaking at the launch of City's new home kit.

City slicker: Balotelli is ready to fight for his place at City and help Roberto Mancini's men defend their title

City slicker: Balotelli is ready to fight for his place at City and help Roberto Mancini's men defend their title

He could have a fight on his hands for a starting role in Mancini's line-up next season if his boss manages to ward Manchester United rival Sir Alex Ferguson for the signature of 20million Arsenal rebel Robin van Persie.

City are keen to land the Dutch international before the transfer window slams shut on August 31 and with the likes of Carlos Tevez, Sergio Aguero and Edin Dzeko already in the ranks, Balotelli will have further competition.

He is not fazed, however, citing his lucky No 45 as his inspiration for the new season ahead.

'My first game in Serie A I wore No 45 playing for Mancini [at Inter Milan],' he added.

'I scored two goals so I said I'm lucky with this 45… and now I always play with 45.'

Welcome back, Mario.

Golf: James Morrison fires brilliant 64 at Wentworth

Morrison fires brilliant 64 at Wentworth… and then reveals he won't go to US Open if he qualifies

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UPDATED:

15:02 GMT, 25 May 2012

James Morrison will be turning down a place in next month's US Open if he wins the BMW PGA Championship on Sunday.

Morrison, out in front after a magical second round 64 at Wentworth, is due to become a father for the first time in two weeks.

In the swing: James Morrison tees off on the third hole on Friday

In the swing: James Morrison tees off on the third hole on Friday

The winner of the European Tour's flagship event becomes eligible for the second major of the season in San Francisco on June 14-17, but the 27-year-old said: 'I wouldn't go unfortunately – as hard as it would be to turn it down.

'I don't want to think what would happen if I went. Divorce comes to mind.'

Morrison played at Pebble Beach two years ago after winning the qualifying event at Walton Heath. That takes place again this Monday, but he has not entered.

Former Open champion Paul Lawrie is another who will not be at the Olympic Club.

He was eligible through the world's top 60, but decided not to enter because he does not think it will help his bid for a return to the Ryder Cup side after a gap of 13 years.

Davis Cup: Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming win doubles rubber against Belgium

Doubles delight as Fleming and Hutchins keep Britain's Davis Cup hopes alive

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UPDATED:

15:50 GMT, 7 April 2012

Colin Fleming and Ross Hutchins kept Great Britain's hopes of Davis Cup victory over Belgium alive by coming from behind to see off Ruben Bemelmans and David Goffin 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 in the doubles rubber at Glasgow's Braehead Arena.

Honourable singles defeats for Josh Goodall and Dan Evans in the Europe/Africa Zone Group I tie yesterday had left Britain staring at a first defeat in six.

But, while Belgium were hot favourites to win both those matches, the reverse was true today, with Fleming and Hutchins having established themselves as one of the better doubles pairs in world tennis.

Cheer we go: Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming celebrate their doubles win over Belgium to keep Britain's hopes alive

Cheer we go: Ross Hutchins and Colin Fleming celebrate their doubles win over Belgium to keep Britain's hopes alive

They won their second ATP World Tour title together last month in Delray Beach and currently sit 10th in the tour's doubles race, where the top eight at the end of the year qualify for the Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London.

In contrast, Bemelmans and Goffin had never played together before but the Belgian pair, who are both ranked in the top 150 in singles, came out firing, particularly on return.

They broke the Fleming serve in only the third game and the Anglo-Scottish pair never really threatened to recover the deficit, with 21-year-old Goffin impressing on his Davis Cup debut.

Hutchins in particular was struggling to keep his returns in court but he began to find his form in the second set and some concerted British pressure paid off with a break for 4-2.

It seemed like the greater experience and doubles prowess of the home duo had turned things in their favour but with Hutchins serving for the set the Belgians stepped up again and a return winner from Bemelmans helped them break back.

On the volley: Fleming swoops to return a stunning shot to Belgian rivals Ruben Bemelmans and David Goffin

On the volley: Fleming swoops to return a stunning shot to Belgian rivals Ruben Bemelmans and David Goffin

It was a set Britain really needed to win and they came up with the goods in the 12th game, breaking the Bemelmans serve to level proceedings.

Hutchins had really grown into the match and he nailed a return down the line to put Britain 4-2 ahead in the third set, and this time there was no wobble.

The Belgians were certainly not short of spirit, though, and Hutchins had to save a break point in game six of the fourth set with a gutsy volley.

Cheer we go: Fleming and Hutchins pulled the tie back to 2-1, handing Britain hope of recording an upset

Cheer we go: Fleming and Hutchins pulled the tie back to 2-1, handing Britain hope of recording an upset

Alex Kay Talks Tennis

Britain were very keen to avoid a fifth and they secured the break they craved at 4-4 to leave Hutchins serving for the match, which he managed reasonably comfortably, polishing off victory with an ace.

The pair celebrated with their now customary chest bump to make it three straight Davis Cup victories, but Britain's hopes of triumphing on Sunday remain very slim, with Goodall and Evans needing to overcome huge ranking deficits in the reverse singles.