Picture this: come 26th November 2020, a location in the heart of Invercargill’s CBD,
is going to come alive with the sounds of volleyballs being struck. The sun is shining,
spectators are clapping and cheering with hats, sunglasses and sunscreen on, as they watch top athletes perform on newly-designed and built courts of sand.
A six- year dream is coming to fruition, just in time for the South Island Junior Secondary School Beach Volleyball Championships.
Volleyball Southland will be hosting the 2020 South Island Junior Indoor and Beach Volleyball Championships, starting on November 22nd. November 23rd to 25th for the indoor championship, 26th November – Junior Beach Championship, and 27th – 28th
November for the Southland Open and Grand Prix, where they hope to have sixteen of NZ’s top beach volleyball athletes in Invercargill, showcasing their skills and holding a development clinic in support of local athletes and coaches.
The week is rounded off with some of the top players participating in exhibition games in Queenstown on November 29th.
All indoor games will be located at ILT Stadium Southland, and all beach volleyball
games will be played at the former Southland Bowling Club, at 40 Forth Street, Invercargill, which is about to be transformed into The Otepuni Community Hub.
It will be the new home for Southland Darts Association and Volleyball Southland.
Volleyball Southland Chair, Donna Milne said they are diversifying into Beach
Volleyball, to develop and utilise the former bowling greens, while continuing to
maintain their strong indoor competitions at ILT Stadium Southland.
Mrs Milne said they were expecting over 2000 people to attend across the week for
the South Island junior champs plus beach events.
This number is made up of 69 indoor teams of 10 players per team. Then many of
the players would go into doubles for beach in the Year 9/10 tournament.
In the beach volleyball, there would be 16 teams, and 8 teams of each gender for the
Grand Prix, plus 32 teams – 16 per gender for the Southland Beach Open.
Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is a support partner in the project, and has
assisted with marketing, media and logo design. They’ve also offered student
volunteers to be extra pairs of hands at the week-long event, who will be using their
skills in photography, massage (the athletes), and marshalling.
“I am blown away by the Invercargill City Council (ICC), SIT and our fantastic local
funder’s belief and potential investment into our vision for beach volleyball courts in
the CBD, and having a community hub for people to play in, and take part in
recreational activities”, Mrs Milne said.