Beach volleyball player Jess Grimson is relieved to be back on the sand of Bournemouth beach to recommence training ahead of qualification for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Grimson’s contact time with her new partner Daisy Mumby has been limited since making their first appearance earlier in the year in Brazil.

“We had some good preparation at the start of a new partnership, and it went very well. But as soon as we came back, we trained once together in London and haven’t trained since. It’s been a bit of a shame on that front, but hopefully by September time our domestic tour will hopefully have a block of competitions on to get out and get competing.”

Grimson has been able to access gym equipment as well as creating makeshift volleyball facilities in her garden to stay sharp in lockdown despite being unable to get back on the sand in the interim.

“I’ve been very lucky and probably feel fitter than I’ve ever been because I’ve been running and cycling much longer than I usually would. But I just want to get back on the sand and do more specific training and get ready for a potential season which I don’t think will happen, but I’ll make sure I’m ready just in case.”

Ensuring she is prepared for the back end of this season and for 2021 is key for Grimson’s and Mumby’s chances of qualification for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. 

She has already had a taste of what is to come in two year’s time, as Grimson was part of a virtual Team England athlete kit panel to coincide with Kukri being announced as the team’s kit suppliers for a third consecutive Commonwealth Games.

“It was awesome, obviously it would have been really cool to get in a room with everybody and have the same conversations face to face. But it was interesting getting a real feel for everyone’s different opinions which is a very hard job to try and please everybody as everyone is coming from completely different backgrounds and sports. But it definitely cemented that extra motivation of being a part of it all and I want to make sure that I’m wearing it.”

The lure of a home games is something that Grimson and the panel were keen to take seriously as the Team England athletes will be eager to make their mark both inside and outside of the sporting arenas.

“We want to stand out wherever we go, but most specifically at the open ceremony we will be the first team to walk out. Of course, comfort and functionality will be really important but I think coming out and making a statement being the first team out, with our games will be the biggest and most important bit of kit.”