After the long and cold English winter which has swept much of Great Britain, Antonella Palmese is hopeful Turkey will bring out the sunshine when the Gallipoli Games starts.
The 26-year-old beach volley athlete will be part of the 80-person delegation from Great Britain traveling to Canakkale this month.
Antonella started playing beach volley at the age of nine. Due to weather constraints, however, much of her training has had to be indoors.
“I always reserved a particular love for beach volleyball,” she says.
“With the incredible expansion of this sport over the past few years, I was finally able, three years ago, to start to have proper training sessions and competitions on the sand all year long, and quit indoor volleyball.”
“When the beach season is in full swing, I usually only have 1 day per week off beach volleyball. My best result in beach volleyball has probably been a 3rd place at the National Beach Volleyball Tour Finals 2014.”
Antonella is now aiming for gold at the beach volley competition which will be held on the Canakkale coastline as part of the Gallipoli Games.
“I can hardly explain how honoured I feel to represent this country that is offering me a very high level education at University College London as well as amazing sports opportunities,” she says.
For Antonella, the Games are more than just a sports competition.
“To me, Gallipoli symbolises the shift in cultural and political relations that has taken place globally over the past hundred years. Today, instead of fighting against each other for land and resources, we are competing together in the spirit of friendship and shared values. I believe international sporting events like the Gallipoli Games can further cement these bonds of friendship in the 21st century, so we can continue to move forward together in peace.”