Winnipeggers and Manitobans alike did not let the spike in temperature keep them from coming out to support the home team during the initial matches of Women’s Beach Volleyball. From parasols to a visit to the Beer Gardens, spectators managed to keep cool and show the competition that they are Manitoba Strong.
The crowd was seeing double as twin sisters, Josie and Kearley Abbott of team Manitoba, dominated Team New Brunswick, with a 21 to 13 victory in both sets. When asked the secret to their success, both girls confirmed that communication is one of the advantages of having a twin as a partner. Kearley notes that, “It also helps to have someone with you all the time to practice when you want to practice and when it’s a good time for you to practice”. Even if that means a bit of “internal competition” between the two to help push one another, she makes it clear that they are best friends at heart. “It’s someone to take it all in with,” adds Josie, “We get to be always together and it’s someone to share these big experiences with”.
In terms of big experiences, this is the Abbott twins’ first time playing in front of a crowd as big as the ones at the Canada Games. “At all the events that we’ve played at, we’ve never been at home in front of friends, family, and just Manitoba supporters,” shares Kearley, “I think it just makes it an extra special experience.” Josie concurs that, “It’s very special to have people we know and people we don’t know come and cheer on Team ‘Toba. It gets us into the game very quickly!”
While one may wonder if coaching a team made up of identical players may lead to the occasional confusion during practices, the girls are proud to say that their coach and role model, Wanda Guenette, has no trouble telling them apart. “I think she can tell us apart just by the way we play,” laughs Josie, “Our serving’s a little bit different. Kearley, if you watch her attack, the approach is different from mine.” Needless to say, the combination of their individual strengths makes for an incredible team!
The Games are here for a good time, not a long time, so you don’t want to miss a minute! Get your tickets before it’s too late.