Brothers Brendon and Daniel Heath are representing both their family and their countryat the Vanuatu 2017 Pacific Mini Games beach volleyball competition.
After falling out of the qualifying race for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games on Thursday, the pair is now focused on securing a medalin next week’s Mini Games tournament.
On Thursday the Heath brothers defeated Tuvalu 2-1, but lost 2-1 to Vanuatu and 2-1 to Solomon Islands.
Nevertheless, spectators at the Korman beach volleyball courts in Port Vila were impressed to see two brothers pairing up to represent their country.
At 39 years old, Brendon is the senior brother, while Daniel is 35.
Daniel told the Vanuatu 2017 Games News Service how their partnership came about.
“We’ve been playing volleyball since we were kids. My brother is into volleyball more than me, and he didn’t have a partner when we were younger, so it was up to me to be his partner. From then on, we became partners for life,” Daniel said.
“It’s awesome to participate in world tournaments and be playing with my brother. I look up to him and I admire him. He was like a role model to me when we were growing up. I don’t get to see him very often now, but when we team up, I get to spend time with my big brother.”
Brendon said: “I thank my brother for being my partner. We live in different countries now, and so it’s good to play together in the game that we love”.
Having been knocked out of the Commonwealth Games qualifiers, the Heath brothers play their next match when the Mini Games beach volleyball tournament begins on Monday 11 December.
Story by Amona Kellen and Masseng Falau
Photos by Masseng Falau