EACH member of Team Scotland for April’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast has taken their own personal path to get this spring’s global sporting showpiece but few of the journeys are more diverting than that of Robin Miedzybrozki. For starters, Miedzybrodzki will bravely look out the budgie smugglers this Spring as one half of our men’s beach volleyball team, for the sport’s inaugural outing at this global showpiece, an event which he often practices – wrapped up rather warmer – down at Portobello beach near Edinburgh.

But the name Miedzybrodzki, of course, hints at a more exotic heritage. And when it comes to doing battle on the beaches, Scotland also has the 32-year-old’s war hero Grandad to thank, for coming over from Poland during the war to help the RAF battle the Nazis.

“My grandfather is Polish and came over during the war as an RAF pilot,” says the giant figure of Miedzybrodzki. “My dad grew up here. My grandad was a man of few words, English wasn’t his first language. But my dad and his brothers and sisters talked about it a lot. What he did during the war. It was a traumatic time but it was a huge part of his life and he just loved flying planes and was part of one of the famous battalions that took out a U-boat. I did know him but we didn’t talk about the war.”

As for digging out the Speedos, Miedzkybrodzki - along with his partner Seain Cook - has long since learned to ditch his inhibitions. “In the UK as a nation are quite reserved,” the 32-year-old said. “We went out to Brazil with Team GB and all the coaches turned up in their little Speedos and felt okay with it. We laughed a bit and said we’d never do that but by the end of training we had the Speedos on too. It just depends where you are. In Rio, 35 degrees it works, it doesn’t work on Portobello.”

The beach volleyball fraternity in this country are pulling out all the stops to try to deliver a bespoke indoor facility but their place at Portobello is not without its charms. Not only do you get the encouragement of the early morning dog walking crowd, the conditions are more akin to the ones which the boys will experience in Queensland than you might expect – in particular the breezes you might .

“It’s certainly not the ideal beach but the sand is fantastic, it’s a really good depth for training,” says Miedzybrodzki. “We tend to train in the morning so we get in before the big winds come in. It moves around a lot but it is really good for Gold Coast, because it’s going to be windy when we get out there. There are ways around it, you learn to play in the wind and use it to our advantage. We’ve got a bit of a weapon there, training at Portobello.”

Having been introduced to volleyball at high school in Edinburgh, Miedzybrodzki sensed the opportunities in the two-man, sand-based form of the event and the rest is history. The sport has taken this engineer across the globe, although he missed out on the chance to compete for Team GB at the Olympics at both London in 2012 and Rio in 2016. Like Brazil, the sport is assured of quite a focus in Australia and the Scot is determined to make the most of his time in the limelight.

“This a game changer for us,” said Miedzybrodzki, whose wife Shauna played at London 2012, and now has a young family. “We’ve always said if we could get into the Commonwealth Games we’d have a really good chance of a medal.

“So it’s an amazing opportunity for Seain and I to go out there, put Scotland on the map and compete for a medal,” he added. “For the sport it’s great. It went into the Olympics in 1996 and is always one of the most popular events. It was fantastic in London and incredible in Rio. Brazil has that beach volleyball culture and Australia has that too. We expect it to be again.

“We were out in Brazil six years ago and we couldn’t get to the hotel from the back courts, we had to get escorted through the back streets of Rio because there was that many fans watching,” added Miedzybrodzki. “It was huge and it’s getting bigger across Europe. In Australia it’s obviously big and in America too, where both beach volleyball and indoor volleyball are big sports. They argue it’s actually a bigger sport in Brazil now than football.

“I’ve never been to the Gold Coast before – but I’ve been to Adelaide in 2008, we did a month’s training before the FIBB world tour event out there. It’s a fantastic place to train, great weather, great beaches, really good beach volleyball environment and beach volleyball culture out there. They have a lot of good teams and coaches in Australia. They did Sydney 2000 brilliantly so I would imagine they will smash this one too.

“The Aussies are a good team but I’d say the Canadians were the top team based on rankings. We’ve played against the Aussies before, trained with them, we’ve beaten them and they’ve beaten us. I know them very well. We used to have an Australian coach and know how they play. We feel we’ve got a chance. We’ve competed with the best and we know we can do it. There’s an English team going. I’m very good friends with them, they were both ushers at my wedding. So that’s going to be an interesting dynamic if we come up against them.”