Doha, Qatar, March 6, 2018 – Damien Schumann and Christopher McHugh have not long to wait anymore, four weeks in fact, before they step out in front of their home fans to represent Australia at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
The Commonwealth Games will run from April 4-15, and it will be the first time that beach volleyball has been part of the programme at the Games.
McHugh and Schumann have already had a taste of what the Games are all about and what they can expect when they begin.
“We went up there for the announcement of the pools and the drawing of lots and they were just starting to build the grandstand,” Schumann said. “We know where it is, we’ve seen the beach and know Coolangatta and now I’ve seen the photos of it fully set up, and it looks amazing.
“It is going to be massive to have every session sold out. It shows to go how everybody in Australia is crazy about the Comm Games. It will be a huge amount of noise.”
A temporary 4,000-capacity stadium has been constructed in Coolangatta that sits at the south end of the Gold Coast.
Come Games time it will be a sell-out, with every ticket already sold. It will ensure a vibrant atmosphere, and continues a strong tradition of Australia hosting major beach volleyball tournaments.
Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst set the standard when they won gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and in recent years Sydney and Shepparton have hosted World Tour events.
McHugh and Schumann now have plenty of time to prepare having missed out on the main draw at the KATARA Beach Volleyball Cup that is currently taking place in Doha.
It means they should be in the best shape possible for the ultimate challenge of winning gold on home sand.
“We had the 5-Star last weekend and just finished playing at the 4-Star here, so now we can fully give our attention to the Comm Games,” Schumann said. “We have still been preparing for the World Tour, but now it is go time.
“I think it is exactly four weeks today before our first game. We’ll get back to Australia and recover from the flight and these couple of tournaments and then have a good solid three weeks and get up there and get into it.
“I can’t really remember Sydney, but everybody keeps telling me about it. All the beach volleyball around the Tour and the World Championships is pretty huge and it is the most popular sport at the Olympic Games, so it is good to see it being part of the Comm Games.”