Next year will mark our 10 years of running our Deep Dish Portugal Beach Volleyball Camp, so we thought we'd have a look back at our where our first Portugal Camp was vs where we are now!
Deep Dish CEO Jake Sheaf gave us an insight into the first edition of the Portugal Camp (pink answers below), while Deep Dish COO Tom Sawko gives us an insight into the upcoming 2024 Portugal Camp (blue answers below)!
HOW MANY PEOPLE ATTENDED / HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE EXPECTED TO ATTEND?
2014: We had around 50 people attend the first ever year of Portugal.
2024: Nowadays, Portugal is our biggest operation by far! We are expecting to take out around 3,500 Tourers and Campers in spring 2024! When you look just at our camps, we should have anywhere between 400 and 500 people joining us over the two weeks (200-250 per camp)!
HOW MANY COURTS WERE SET UP? / HOW MANY COURTS WILL BE SET UP?
2014: We had 6 courts I think.
2024: Over 40 Courts!
WHAT WAS THE PURPOSE BEHIND THE CAMP? / WHAT IS THE FUTURE PURPOSE OF THE CAMP?
2014: We had started to build a community at Deep Dish Crystal Palace and I thought it would be awesome to all go away together and organise a training camp.
2024: To welcome the summer of beach in the best possible way. We have incredible coached sessions, epic tournaments, and the best parties and camp atmosphere around!
WHERE WERE THE CAMPERS FROM? / WHERE ARE THE CAMPERS FROM?
2014: The majority of the people who came on the camp were Crystal Palace regulars. I would say we had about 5-10 who were from outside the community.
2024: Honestly, our family is from all over the world nowadays: the Netherlands, Poland, Czechia, France, Spain, Portugal, Iceland, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Ukraine, Turkey… The list goes on and on- Just find a map and point!
HOW MANY PEOPLE WORKED AT THE CAMP? / HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE GOING TO WORK AT THE CAMP NOW?
2014: We had 5 coaches I think
2024: Over the whole Portugal operation, we are expecting to bring about 60 different team members out! It’s fantastic to work with such a passionate and capable team, and it’s been awesome to grow it to a point where roles in beach volleyball are more attainable than they were in the past. This is going to be instrumental in growing the sport!
WHAT SPONSORS WERE INVOLVED? / WHAT PARTNERS WILL BE INVOLVED?
2014: I was playing at the time and some of my personal sponsors gave some products that we gave out as prizes. Sunglasses and bits of stash come to mind.
2024: We’re welcoming a tonne of Sponsors and Partners, old and new, including Wilson, Spikeball and Monster Energy to name a few! We can’t wait to welcome the Barefoot Beach Camps gang back to Praia Da Rocha too - it’s always a great time when they’re around!
WHERE DID YOU SEE THE CAMP GOING? / WHERE DO YOU SEE THE CAMP GOING?
2014: After the camp I remember thinking how much I enjoyed providing this platform for everyone to come together. From there I was hooked and knew we had to make this accessible for all.
2024: I’d love the camp to remain a Deep Dish staple. It’s an unmatched atmosphere, with a real buzz about it, and every level can find a great training and playing experience!
DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE 1ST EVER CAMPERS? / DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE TO THIS YEAR'S CAMPERS?
2014: A bit cliche but just thank you! Without your trust and passion in me and Deep Dish we would never be in the place we are today. The Portugal camp brings thousands of players together from all over the world who share a common interest. You were all the catalyst of this and should be proud of what you started.
2024: My favourite thing about Portugal camp is seeing the Deep Dish Community increase in size. It’s one of the most welcoming groups I’ve known, and it is such a powerful thing, seeing the family grow and strengthen. But it’s really not limited to a week- the blowout is incredible with Deep Dish family meet-ups around the world.
If you’re new, we can’t wait to welcome you to the family, you’re going to have the best time! If you’re returning, it’s going to be an incredible reunion unlike anything we’ve ever had! Just make sure you book early and arrive ready for the best week ever!
THANK YOU FOR AN INCREDIBLE 10 YEARS, WE'RE SO EXCITED ABOUT THE NEXT 10 TO COME! WE HOPE TO SEE YOU ALL THIS YEAR!
DEEP DISH VACATIONS OVERVIEW
Gran Canaria Beach Volleyball Camp | 7-day intensive and intimate training camp with tournaments and socials. With high-level coaching, this is ideal for intermediate to advanced players. Around 40 campers per week, run in January & February. Find out more here: www.deepdishbeach.com/gran-canaria-camp
Portugal Beach Volleyball Camp | 7-day intensive training and fun tournament-filled camp for all ages and skill levels. Around 200+ campers per week, run in April & May. Find out more here: www.deepdishbeach.com/portugal-camp
Portugal Beach Sports Tour | 4-day tour for 18 - 30(ish) year olds with daily training, tournaments and socials! Around 600+ tourers per week, run in March & April. We run University and Non-University weeks. Find out more here: www.deepdishbeach.com/tour