2018-01-11 09:46:00 CET

Don’t call it a comeback!

Vanuatu star Miller Pata’s back on the beach…

Miller (right) pictured with Linline in Poland on the World Tour in 2015. Photocredit: FIVBMiller (right) pictured with Linline in Poland on the World Tour in 2015. Photocredit: FIVB

There could be a smiley face back on the sand at a Beach Major Series stop very soon!

Vanuatu’s Miller Pata was a regular on the World Tour with teammate Linline Matautu until she stopped playing at the end of 2016 to have her second baby.

In fact, it was at our Hamburg Major that year that Miller was last seen in international competition, where she and Linline finished in a superb ninth place for the fourth successive tournament.

It came during a period where the pair were one of the most feared teams in the world, beating the likes of Swiss stars Isabelle Forrer and Anouk Verge-Depre and rising star Duda. They also came agonizingly close to representing Vanuatu at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

But with Pata, who also finished ninth in the 2013 World Championships in Poland, turning her attention to motherhood once more, the pair took a break from the beach – until now.

Miller is back in training and are preparing to represented their tiny island nation – with a population of just 250,000 – at the Commonwealth Games in April before thinking about the Major Series in the summer season.

Returning athelete Miller Pata and Pacific Mini Games Gold Medalist Linline Matauatu hitting the training session with determination. #vanuatubeachvolleyball #commonwelthgames2018 #teamtraining#womenathletes

12 Likes, 1 Comments - vanuatubeachvolleyball (@vanuatubeachvolleyball_) on Instagram: "Returning athelete Miller Pata and Pacific Mini Games Gold Medalist Linline Matauatu hitting the..."

“I stopped playing in December of 2016,” Pata, who was named the FIVB’s Most Inspirational Player in 2015, told the Vanuatu Independent. “Returning to beach volleyball I was slow during the training at the start but as the training continues, I became stronger.

“Now it was very good. I joined the other players during their training and they all make me feel good and make me want to train harder.”

With the latest addition to the family, how does juggling two children and training work?

“Before attending my training in the morning I make sure everything is in place for my baby with the baby sitter,” says Miller. “After the morning training, I go back home and check on them and feed my baby and prepare everything for them before leaving for the training in the afternoon.”

Good luck, Miller and welcome back – we hope to see you later this year!

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