Sam and Ben O'Dea's sporting trophies normally end up on their mum's fridge - but the pair say they will probably find a different home for their latest accolades.

"Most of the time we leave them on the ground and mum collects them up," Ben laughs.

The beach volleyballers - who scored bronze at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast - arrived home at Tauranga Airport today, saying these medals will get a little more care.

The O'Deas, along with gold medal-winning hockey players Rose Keddell and Amy Robinson, were greeted with hugs and smiles as family and friends waited at the arrival gates with a "Go Sam and Ben" sign.


The brothers said winning the bronze medal in beach volleyball was a highlight of the tournament "for sure".

Sam was used to travelling as part of a small team, but travelling with the wider New Zealand contingent made for an even better experience.

"It was really cool when athletes would come back to the village after getting a medal and everyone would be welcomed and celebrated," he said.

"There was just a really good buzz," Ben added.

Taking out the bronze at the first beach volleyball competition played at the Commonwealth Games was something Sam said "dawned" on him after the win.

"It is really special," he said.

The win saw the O'Deas at the height of their beach volleyball careers but they had their sights set on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

"We are still young in the sport, so this is a stepping stone for us. We've trained a lot so it's really good to see our training pay off," Ben said.


Sam would not have much time at home as he would set off for Europe in two weeks to compete and Ben was waiting to hear when he would undergo shoulder surgery.

Ben's 4WD truck was stolen from his Mount Maunganui property while he was away.

He had to forget about the missing truck while competing on the Gold Coast but was a "bit gutted".

Local hockey athletes Amy Robinson and Rose Keddell were pleased to be home.

The Black Sticks created history by beating Australia 4-1 to win gold for the first time in six Commonwealth Games attempts.

Keddell was greeted by her sister, Hannah Keddell, and partner, George Wilkins, who held a huge "Golden girl" sign at the arrival hall.

"Winning the gold" was an obvious highlight for Keddell and the semifinal shootout was "hugely exciting".

Robinson said getting the late call-up to be in the team and winning the gold were the most memorable aspects.

"It was great to be a part of the New Zealand team."