Sunday saw the ILT Stadium Southland heaving with competitive volleyballers from all over Southland and Southern Lakes for the Inaugural “Competitive Volleyfest”.
Volleyball Southland Regional Development Manager Alissa Light said “When Tutuila Semi Vine from SKCY first approached us to do a Pacifica tournament it aligned with where we were heading for innovation post-Covid-19 and expanded into a competitive VolleyFest for all.
We expected eight teams total to enter the first of our VolleyFest. We were pleasantly surprised that we had 16 teams enter with players across 18 ethnicities, Samoan, Sai Niue, Icelandic, Maori, Australian, Cook Islands, Filipino, Japanese, Canadian, Dutch, Belgian, American, Kiribati, Chilean, Dutch, Fiji, Tuvalu, and good old Kiwi’s. We hoped this would invigorate people into wanting to play more competitively and return to Volleyball, Light said.
Volleyball Southland Chair Donna Milne said “To get players to come out of the woodwork for the first time in many years and come together to reignite their Volleyball passion was foremost in our thinking. We wanted to add some wellbeing, community togetherness, and active competitive fun to everyone’s lives during these trying times for Southland and Queenstown. We hope also to do a Social VolleyFest for players who are new or want to try our sport so that will be exciting as well.
“I haven’t played in four years since leaving school; this was so much fun. Absolutely loved seeing everyone, and playing at this level again”, Said Gabby Arnott from Old Girls.
We play in social Volleyball in Queenstown so to take it up a level and play competitively against some strong teams was so much fun”, said Ayako Fukutako, Wakatipu SOUL.
With only a $10 entry fee per player, trophy and prize money up for grabs and all played out in one day was the winning formula to see some outstanding close sets between the teams. The smiles and laughter resonated throughout the stadium from 10 am to 5 pm, and players are asking for this to happen every couple of months Light said.
Our vision is to see all the courts in action, families coming down, singing, chanting and supporting each other from all ages as Volleyball is for ANYone, Anytime, ANYwhere. Anyone interested then contact us via our Facebook page or website http://www.volleysouth.org.nz/