A fantastic weekend of beach volleyball saw the Sandbanks CEV Beach Volleyball Festival & Junior Volleyball England Beach Tour host 210 teams over three days. Teams from all over England and Europe made the journey to Sandbanks Beach in Poole, notably 10 junior teams from Landstede Volleyball in Zwolle, Holland.; the tournament is fast becoming their favourite event on the summer beach tour calendar.
48 teams competed in the South-West Schools Championships (organised by Denise Austin) on Friday whilst the remaining tournament infrastructure was being set up. By Saturday morning the sky was blue with no breeze and rising temperatures. Following a group warm up by Fitness First which filled the promenade with players, volunteers and even some passers by joining in the fun, play kicked off at 9.30am with players of all ages showing off their growing talent and excellent skills on court. Fantastic performances by the young athletes continued throughout the weekend attracting lots interest from the general public who stayed to watch and find out more about the sport.
Breaks in play on centre court were filled with games aimed at getting people involved in the sport. Serving the ball in the bucket and having a rally with a giant beach ball proved to be the most popular. The tournament was also visited by three local Olympians, Dan Hunter (Team GB Men), Lucy Wicks (Team GB Women) and Ben Pipes (Team GB Men’s Captain) who were on hand to answer questions, sign autographs and have photographs with many young budding Olympians.
With brilliant sunshine all weekend and temperatures of up to 28 degrees, players and volunteers were very grateful to Fitness First and ASDA for their donations of bottled water, and also Boots for providing a full range of much needed sun cream. Another special thank you goes out to Sportset who provided all of the junior prizes and to Volleyball England for their support of the event.
Chairman of Wessex Volleyball Club, Geoff Allen said “When the weather is so good, everyone enjoys their beach volleyball. But there is a lot of planning and hard work that goes into making an event like Sandbanks run smoothly and a massive thank you is due to the group of Wessex parents who give their time so freely. We were honoured that the CEV chose to support Sandbanks this year. Hopefully, this will show them that such support can bring great results.”
For more information on the Sandbanks Beach Festival, click here
For results, please click here
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