Meet The Team: Niko Gleed & Harry Jones

commonwealth games May 20, 2022

In the run up to the Commonwealth Games this year, we want to shine a spotlight on the teams hoping to qualify.

We caught up with Harry Jones and Niko Gleed. These talented blokes have been making quite the splash on the court over the last year.

Niko Gleed


Position & Side: Split blocker/defender. Left side

Height: 6'0"

Date of Birth: July 4th 2000

Hometown: Ringwood, England

Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Niko Gleed, I am 21 years old. I am currently in my 3rd year studying Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Exeter. Grew up playing tennis nationally before falling in love with beach volleyball. I have ambitions to become a gold medallist in the Commonwealth games and on the Pro Tour.

When and how did you get into beach volleyball?

First got into Volleyball after watching the London 2012 Olympics while I was in Finland and thought it was the coolest sport ever when I saw it. Later found out that one of my friends in Finland played for the national team and we peppered a little bit. When I was back in England I joined my local team which was Wessex Volleyball, later joining Leaf Academy where I was introduced to beach volleyball around the age of 13/14.

Do you have any pre-game habits/rituals?

I am not a very superstitious person so don’t have any pre-game habits/rituals. The main thing I do is try to be as best prepared I can through getting enough sleep the night before and eating properly at good times before the game. I try to make sure I am having as much fun and feel relaxed when I am warming up before I get locked in when I step onto court.

Of all the events you’ve played, is there a match or tournament that stands out in your mind? Why?

The one that stands out the most to me is a semi final match of an open tournament that was played out in Florida last year. The thing that makes it stand out is the atmosphere as we were playing one of the hometown heroes and every single one of the crowd was heckling us and cheering against us. This was the first time I’ve been in a situation like this but it was incredible and love every second, may have helped that we won!

Outside of beach volleyball, what do you do in your free time?

Outside of beach volleyball I have a huge passion for other sports especially tennis and snowboarding but will never turn down to learn a new sport and skill. I also love adventuring and going for walks with my family and German Shepard. When with friends I also enjoying playing cards and board games aka I’m very competitive.

Is there a coach or athlete that you look up to and why?

Not necessarily an athlete in beach volleyball but I hugely look up to Roger Federer in the way he is so versatile in his game and always has a calm aura around him while still being super competitive. The way he handles himself on and off the court is how I strive to be.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 5 years time I see myself still in love with beach volleyball and pushing the upper ranks of the Pro Tour.

Is there any advice you would give to young players?

My advice for younger players is to not compare yourself to others and go out in every match with the intention of enjoying yourself and belief that you can win. Also always try and be the best possible teammate and there’s always something you can work on and improve. Height also doesn’t matter, I was tiny until the age of 18!!!

Harry Jones


Position & Side: Split Block, Right Sider

Height: 6'1"

Date of Birth: 13/10/1997

Hometown: Bournemouth

Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m Harry Jones, I’m 24 and I’m from Bournemouth. I studied television production at Bournemouth University, graduating in 2019, and am now focussing on Volleyball in the run up to Birmingham 2022.

When and how did you get into beach volleyball?

I started playing Volleyball at my local club Wessex when I was 9; I was playing lots of different sports at school but after the London Olympics, I realised Beach Volleyball was a passion and was where I wanted to put my focus. I made my international debut when I was 15 and almost 10 years later I’m playing and enjoying the sport more than ever before.

Do you have any pre-game habits/rituals?

I like to listen to music and sometimes just step away from the all the action of the tournament; I like to remind myself of my core values and just take a moment to appreciate how lucky I am to be able to compete.

Of all the events you’ve played, is there a match or tournament that stands out in your mind? Why?

The U21 World Championships in Switzerland back in 2016 was a big stand out event for me; the venue was insane and the fact we became the first team at the time to qualify for the event was really special. The Cardiff Grand Slam last year was also very special to me as my first Grand Slam win on the UKBT.

Outside of beach volleyball, what do you do in your free time?

I’m definitely a coffee fanatic! I often like to wonder around and try out different coffee shops wherever we are in the world. I also like spending quality time with my friends and family; they are my core people and I’m so grateful to have them in my life. I also like photography, paddle boarding and going to the cinema.

Is there a coach or athlete that you look up to and why?

Chris Hoy has always been somewhere who epitomises what it means to be a great athlete to me. The discipline focus and also humbleness are things that I often try to keep at the centre of my athlete life.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Hopefully still playing on a beach somewhere. :)

Is there any advice you would give to young players?

Don’t be afraid to go after a goal; I spent so long as a junior player being afraid of telling others what I wanted to achieve in sports, like they were going to judge me for it. If you want to be a volleyball player, then get after it! It will be the best thing you ever did.

Team Questions

Team factfile:

Coach: Andy Jones


Team - Tru Talent, Suomi Cabins, Lions Club, Bad Hand Coffee

Niko - TASS

Social media handles:

@Gleedjonesbeach (insta)

@Gleedjonesbeach (facebook)



Describe your team in three words.

Versatile, Dedicated, Ying-yang

What would you say is your team’s super strength?

Our super strength is that we are very versatile and are able to bounce back very well after things don’t go our way, ready to come back stronger.

How long have you been playing together?

10 months.

What would it mean for you both to reach the Commonwealth Games?

It would be an incredible achievement not just for us but everyone who has help and supported us to this point as it would not have been possible without them. It is only the beginning for our journey so would be a huge milestone to reach.


The Commonwealth Games Qualifier Tournament will commence on the 26th of May, and we can't wait to see the pair of them show us how it's done.

Check out our learning plans now for all you need to master beach volleyball.

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