Daley Thompson reveals in his next life, he wants to return as a beach volleyball player

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The Independent Online
Daley Thompson recently revealed that, in his next life, he wants to return as a beach volleyball player. Other individuals hoping to try their hand should not have to wait as long as the world's fastest growing sport arrives in London next week.

The beach reaches Covent Garden on 10 and 11 August. 170 tons of sand are being shifted from Tarmac, Little Hampton, to create an outdoor court in the East Piazza. Measuring 14 x 22 metres, the court will boast sand 30cm deep, a PA system, floodlights and all the trappings of international competition. It could well be the first beach party held in the capital.

Sixteen professional players from around the globe will play in a knockout event for a purse of pounds 5,000. British Olympians Audrey Cooper and Amanda Glover, fresh from the Atlanta Games, will attend.

Since its inception in California, as an alternative to the monotony of sunbathing, the sport has rapidly expanded. Over the past decade the original laid-back participants have been thrust into the limelight as American television executives attempted to market the unique components of the sport. Youth, athleticism and the three S's (sun, sand and sex) have caught the imagination of the American youth. Beach volleyball has already colonised Australia and Brazil and is now set to hit Europe and could well be the latest sporting craze to catch hold in the UK.

In addition to watching professionals and celebrities battle in the sand, spectators can also join in the beach party as the players will offer coaching tips on the basics.

Telephone Livewire on 0171-793 4242 for further information on start times and promotions.

Details of forthcoming events with information on tickets and venues should be sent to: The Sports Desk, The Independent, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London E14 5DL. Fax: 0171 293 2894.

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