A beach volleyball player from Midlothian will make history when he competes in the Commonwealth Games for the first time.
Robin Miedzybrodzki says he cannot wait to put on the Team Scotland vest alongside partner Seain Cook when the sport makes its debut at the Gold Coast in April.
He said: “It’s getting very real, it’s very exciting and it feels a bit surreal. You’re trying to picture in your head what it will be like. Volleyball is huge in Australia and they will put on a great show.
“It is the cumulation of years of hard work and I can’t wait to get on court and pull on the Scotland vest.”
Robin fell in love with the sport whilst at Firrhill High School in Edinburgh, at the age of 21 he joined the Great Britain squad at the University of Bath and undertook a degree in civil engineering.
He is now back home in Loanhead with his wife Shauna, who played volleyball at the 2012 London Olympics for Great Britain and their two young girls – one of whom arrived a few days after they beat Cyprus in September to qualify for these Games.
He said: “The whole lead up was very intense. The second baby was due on September 19, we did not get the plan spot on but it worked out perfectly she was born a couple of days later. The match was the tightest game I’ve played in. It was a big moment when we got the final point and it has given us confidence.”
The Coolangatta Beachfront provides the stage for the encounters in front of 4000 capacity crowd.
He said: “I think playing infront of a big crowd makes you play better. Motivation is always high but it pushes to a new level. You do get a bit nervous but you have to try to deal with that.”
Scotland men’s team have been drawn in Pool B alongside Canada, Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone, Robin added: “It’s a pretty good draw. Canada are a top team. Sri Lanka and Sierra Leone are a bit of an unknown but they are going to be tough competition. We want to finish on the podium that’s the goal, I think we can go there and fight for a medal.”
Medals run deep in the Miedzybrodzki family. Robin’s grandfather Leslaw was awarded the Virtuti Militari Silver Cross – Poland’s highest military honour – for his exceptional bravery in WWII. In May 1944, flying a Wellington plane he attacked two German U-boats in a rare-two way battle between U-boats and Polish aircraft. He retired from the RAF in 1983 to work for Ferranti Systems. He died in Edinburgh on January 18, 2001.
Robin said: “He was a quiet, intelligent man and he didn’t say a lot about the war.”