Jessica 'Jess' Grimson (born March 16,1991) is a English professional beach volleyball player. Her career highlight to date is qualifying for the 2018 commonwealth games. Alongside her partner Victoria 'Vicky' Palmer they are England's number 1 women's beach volleyball pair. They are 4 times national champions of the Volleyball England Beach Tour.
Jess and Vicky started their professional career together in 2014, competing through the ranks of the CEV continental cup. The pair started to compete in NEVZA zonal events eventually collecting enough points to qualify for their first World Tour Event in March 2017. They have since continued appearing in the World Tour, making their first WT1* event 4 months later in Ulsan, South Korea  finishing an overall 5th.
Early life[edit | edit source]
Jess was born in the northern English city of Leeds, but moved south with her family at the age of 9. At school, she was picked up by MBE Freda Bussey to join the local volleyball club, and has since fallen in love with the sport. Her early aspirations in sport were in fact to become a footballer, but her trajectory in volleyball made her commit to the sport. She was selected onto the England junior squads at the age of 15.
Jess got into beach volleyball at the University of Bath, home of the GB beach programmes preparing for London 2012. After finishing at the University of Bath, Jess moved to Bournemouth to be closer to the LEAF Academy National Beach Volleyball training centre. It was in Bournemouth that Jessica and Victoria realised they had similar motivations and decided to pair up.
Qualifying to the commonwealths[edit | edit source]
Beach volleyball at the 2018 Commonwealth Games will be the first time the sport is hosted as part of the competition, accepting 12 teams from each gender. To qualify, teams had to win their respective continental competitions, or be a top 4 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Ranked team amongst qualifying nations.
Jess and Vicky had to compete against Wales, Scotland, and Cyprus to win the continental qualification. The 4 teams battled it out in Larnaka's Finikoudes beach On September 15-17. England had beaten both Wales and Scotland previously, but had not taken a set from the Cypriots. Jess and Vicky went in more determined than ever, taking their first victory off of the Cypriots at the round robin stage. They would meet again in the final, with the winner of the match guaranteeing qualification to the commonwealth games. The match was close, but the Cypriots came out on top and booked their ticket for the Gold Coast 2018.
The only remaining way for Jessica and Victoria to qualify was to ensure that they remained top of the world rankings. As a result, England went back onto the World Tour, competing in China to improve their prospects for qualification. Two weeks later, at the end of October 2017, they were announced as one of the 12 qualifying teams for the Commonwealth's.
Media debut[edit | edit source]
CNN & the BBC approached the girls for interviews following their Commonwealth Games qualification. They also actively blogg about their sporting journey through their official social media pages as well as their website
References[edit | edit source]
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