NOVEMBER 2008: On the eve of the Australian beach volleyball series, leading player Pansy Cleavage is worried that she and other leading bikini-clad volleyballers aren’t being taken seriously enough as athletes.
“It’s, like, we walk into a sporting function or a hotel and all the cricketers and tennis players start yelling at us to get our gear off, which would be fine if we were about to show our volleyballing skills, but this is at, like, 11 o’clock at night,” she told The Bladder
“Sometimes I wonder whether people even care that we spend up to an hour a day practising our ball skills. It’s as though all anybody cares about in our sport is the fact we happen to wear incredibly revealing bikinis.”
Cleavage said her fears were never more apparent than when dealing with the corporate sector. “Honestly, every sponsorship or corporate request that comes through asks specifically that we be wearing our barely-there competition bikinis,” she said. “I keep wanting to wear evening gowns or maybe a twin-set suit, but nobody seems interested in that. It’s weird.”
Cleavage is hoping their credibility will be enhanced by a mooted new winter competition in 2009, in which she and other top lingerie-clad players will attempt jelly-based volleyball, supported by vertical steel poles, in several hotel venues around the country.