For Emily Julian and her brother Jamie, beach volleyball is a family sport.
The Whakatāne brother and sister were among the more than 100 athletes competing in this week's New Zealand Provincial Beach Volleyball Champs at Mount Maunganui's Main Beach - Emily in the under 19 girls' division with her partner Sarah Stratton, and 14-year-old Jamie in the under 17 boys'.
After two days of competition involving 64 teams from the Tasman, Otago, Canterbury regions and throughout the North Island, top seeds Emily and Sarah, from Tauranga, came up against second seeds and Ōtūmoetai College students Rose Akkerman and Larissa Meads in the final.
In the end Emily and Sarah took gold in two sets, winning 21-13, 21-14.
"It's been a while since we played our age group," Emily, who is in her sixth year of playing volleyball, says.
Jamie says the competition was strong, and while he was playing in the under 17s at 14, most in the division were young. He turns 15 this year, which meant he was too old to play in the under 15s division, much like other competitors.
Emily, who was head girl at Whakatāne High School last year and heads to Auckland's Massey University this year, started playing volleyball in Year 9 and unknowingly planted a seed for Jamie's love of the sport also.
He says watching his older sister play, and succeed in the sport, made him want to follow in her footsteps.
"Emily just started playing with me and I really loved it," he says.
There was plenty about the sport he enjoyed - the sand and the diving among the reasons, he says.
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When he had the chance to play for his school, Whakatane High School, he jumped at the opportunity. He was 13, in Year 9, and in the short time he's been playing he's had the chance to represent New Zealand, travel and play internationally.
Last year he travelled to the US as part of the New Zealand Junior Youth team with Grady Forbes and Caleb Browne.
Emily was part of the New Zealand Junior Women's Team and also made the New Zealand Under 19 Women's Indoor Volleyball Development Team, also travelling and playing internationally.
Jamie says seeing his sister's achievements drives him to push himself in the sport and this year, has big goals - hoping to move away from development squads and into the national teams.
"It makes me want to work more."
"The closest goal would be just to make a New Zealand squad."
Emily's teammate Sarah, who started playing volleyball in Year 11, also found the sport through her siblings Eric and Rachel, who were convinced her height would go a long way in the sport.
"My sister she started playing first, and my brother joined. They kind of pressured me into it."
It seems they were right because Sarah heads to Daytona State University in Florida on an indoor volleyball scholarship.
"It's cool to be able to do my uni course and play volleyball at the same time."