Elite-level coaches and support staff changing a baby’s nappies courtside is not what you expect to see at a locked-down Commonwealth Games venue just days out from competition.
But such is the case for Vanuatu’s beach volleyball team, who are juggling wet wipes and prams with the demands of gunning for a gold medal.
Miller Pata is the mother of seven-month-old Tommy, her second child, and she’s also the on-court partner of Linline Matauatu as the pair attempt to win a medal for the first time in the country’s history.
And they are in with a decent chance, with Australia’s Mariafe Artacho del Solar – one half of the gold medal favourites – ranking them alongside Canada and New Zealand as the home side’s biggest threats.
They have Australian Shannon Zunker as their coach as they aim for a podium finish.
Pata said she never doubted that she could make it to the Games on the Gold Coast, despite having such a short turnaround time from Tommy’s birth.
“When I have my baby I knew I could train hard with my personal trainer,” Pata told AAP.
But the training isn’t the hardest part, it’s organising everything around Tommy, who is making a special guest appearance on the Gold Coast.
“I have to organise my baby, spend time with my baby and take care of him,” she said.