Beach Volleyball Teams Bring a Wealth of Experience to Birmingham

Out of the four members of Canada’s beach volleyball team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, only one was not a member of the medal-winning group that debuted the sport at the 2018 Gold Coast Games.

Toronto’s Dan Dearing, who is now playing with Sam Schachter, is the Commonwealth first-timer.

“I'm grateful for the experience that my beach partner and fellow Canadians have playing in the 2018 Games,” said Dearing. “But I'm excited to bring a level of presence to the group and a fresh pair of eyes!”

The team of Dearing and Schachter began playing together late last year and then played in their first world championship after winning the qualification tournament in Punta Cana, Mexico, in April. The team finished 17th at the World Championships in Rome this June.

Schachter is a 2016 Olympian (with Josh Binstock) and 2018 Commonwealth Games silver medalist (with Sam Pedlow). And while Dearing is not new to beach volleyball, he is looking forward to this first major games experience.

“I am expecting an atmosphere full of uplifting energy! It’s a very unique opportunity for Sam and I to show our hard work dedication from the past six months within a multi-sport games! And to do so proudly for us, our coach and our nation.”

On the women’s side, defending Games gold medalists Melissa Humana-Paredes and Sarah Pavan represent Canada. They are no strangers to the multi-sport environment. Pavan is a two-time Olympian and Humana-Parades has played in Pan Am Games and Olympics in 2020. The team finished fifth in Tokyo. They were also the first Canadian team ever to win a Beach Volleyball World Championship, which they did in 2019.

This year, their best result is the top of the podium at a Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 event in Jurmala, Latvia.

“It was a challenge, but a testament to our grit,” Humana-Paredes said of the golden performance at the time.

Now both teams are looking forward to displaying their grit and athleticism at the centrally located Smithfield venue, formally the site of Birmingham’s Wholesale Markets.

For Canada, the women’s team kicks off the Games on July 30 against Ghana; and the men start their preliminary round versus Sri Lanka, both at 16:30 local time.

The finals begin on August 5th, with the medal matches on August 7th.

Visit the Team Canada 2022 website for more updates and the Team Canada media guide for detailed athlete information.