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Gold Coast and beach volleyball a perfect mix in 2018

Commonwealth Games Minister Stirling Hinchcliffe, Queensland beach volleyballer Phoebe Bell, and five-time Olympian and Sydney 2000 gold medallist, Natalie Cook.
Canberra, Australia, March 10, 2016 - Volleyball Australia is thrilled with the announcement that beach volleyball will be joining the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games programme.

“Ever since Kerri Pottharst and Natalie Cook won gold at the Sydney 2000 Olympics, beach volleyball has had a special place in the hearts of sports-loving Australians,” Volleyball Australia CEO, Mathieu Meriaux, said.

“And now, almost two decades later, we will once again get to showcase this exciting sport in a major international sporting fixture on some of the best beach sand in the world on Australia’s iconic Gold Coast.

“We applaud GOLDOC for the decision it has taken, and pledge to leave no stone unturned in the quest to make beach volleyball one of the best run sports of the 2018 Commonwealth Games.”

While beach volleyball was originally left off the 2018 programme, it has been included in the 2022 schedule for the Durban Commonwealth Games in South Africa.

Mr Meriaux said it was exciting beach volleyball would now make its debut on Australian sand.

“It makes so much sense,” he said.

“Australia is a beach-loving country, we have exciting events like the Manly Volleyfest coming up later this month, and later this year we will host the 2016 Asian Continental Olympic qualifiers.

“And in 2018 we will now get to show off not only our sport, but our incredible beaches to the rest of the world. It’s going to be fantastic.”

Volleyball is one of the fastest growing sports in Australia, thanks in no small part to the generous support of sponsors like Mrs Gina Rinehart and Hancock Prospecting, Bendon Lingerie, Three Threes condiments, Schwartz family company and many more.

 “We are sure this announcement by GOLDOC will increase even further the popularity of beach volleyball in Australia,” Mr Meriaux said.

“And it will inspire our athletes, who thought they would never get the chance to compete for a gold medal at a major sporting event in Australia in their lifetime, to push even harder.”

Australian sporting fans can get a taste of what to expect at the Commonwealth games this month at Sydney’s Manly Beach which will play host to the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour Finals (18-20 March), the inaugural 4 Nations Cup (21-22 March), and the Asian Volleyball Confederation Beach Volleyball Championships (25-28 March).

Aussie Stars Nicole Laird, Mariafe Artacho del Solar, Justine and Jordon Mowen, Issac Kapa and Chris McHugh will be just some of the talent on show, hoping to qualify later this year to represent Australia in Beach Volleyball at the Rio Olympics.

The Manly Volleyfest will become a regular fixture over the next three years featuring 48 teams showcasing the world's best talent representing nations including Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Vanuatu, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Japan, Qatar, Brazil and the United States.

Key Dates
The Australian Beach Volleyball Tour Finals - March 18-20, 2016.
The Four Nations Cup
- March 21-22, 2016.
The AVC Asian Beach Volleyball Championships -  March
25-29, 2016.
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