Swapping shoes for beach barefeet!
LAUSANNE, Switzerland, August 11, 2014 - When growing up in the
beautiful surroundings of western Canada, Megan McNamara and her
twin sister had to make an interesting decision. Do they
continue playing softball and soccer? Or do they take off their
cleats and play barefoot in the sand to become competitive Beach
For Megan the choice was easy. "We enjoyed playing soccer and
softball," said the 17-year old Megan, "but Beach Volleyball was
different as we both could play together as one team.
Beach Volleyball is a growing activity in British Columbia.
We first saw Beach Volleyball when were on vacation in Mexico
and we played in our first tournament when we were 11."
For the McNamara twins, the transition from the playing fields
to sand has been "easy". Megan and Nicole McNamara have been
making a name for themselves as the pair enters the upcoming
Youth Olympics as one of the top tandems in the 36-team women's
competition that begins August 17 at the Beach Volleyball Venue
of Nanjing Sports Park Complex in Nanjing, China.
The winners of Canada's senior women's Beach Volleyball
championship in 2013 after topping the country's under-16 and
U18 podiums in 2011 and 2012, respectively, the McNamara twins
have compiled a 14-3 match mark this season in FIVB youth world
championships highlighted by a bronze medal finish at the
recently-completed under-19 competition in Porto, Portugal.
"Like all teams, our goal is to get to the podium!" said Megan.
"It is such an honor to represent Canada in the Youth Olympics.
We're excited to meet other athletes from different the sports
from all over the world. We are also excited to see China as
we’ve never been there before."
To qualify for the Youth Olympics, the McNamaras had to play in
three events to reach Nanjing. "First, we qualified as Team
Canada at a tournament in Toronto,” said Megan. "Then we went
to a NORCECA event in Puerto Rico and placed second that earned
us a spot at the last chance qualifier this past March. We won
all of our matches again in Puerto Rico to earn us a berth."
In addition to experience at the Canadian championships and the
FIVB youth tournaments in Cyprus and Portugal this season, the
McNamaras have played in a 2012 American domestic event while
competing in a NORCECA tour stop last year in Saint Lucia where
the twins finished seventh.
Coached by Mischa Harris and Adriana Bento, the McNamaras have
"verbally committed to UCLA in Los Angeles”, said Nicole when
interviewed August 1 in Porto when the twins celebrated their
birthdays by winning their pool in the U19 world championships.
“Even before volleyball, our dream was California, so it worked
out perfectly. There is really not a better place to play Beach
Volleyball than California. We have given up indoor for this
Before attending UCLA, the McNamaras need to complete their
senior year in high school in Vancouver along with finishing
their 2014 international schedule strong at the Youth Olympics.
"As I said, our goal is to medal in China,” said Megan, who is
interested in math and business as a student. “Winning the
bronze medal in Portugal was surreal, it was almost like a
dream. We really have given our best and look forward to
competing at a high level again in China. It will not be easy
as the Olympics will bring out the best in everyone.”