The popularity and success of the inaugural Bank of Queensland Masters Beach Volleyball Classic on the weekend may put Townsville on the sport’s national calendar.
Proving that Beach Volleyball is not just a sport for the young, the two-day event attracted 75 competitors from throughout Queensland and the Northern Territory to the CitiBeach volleyball courts.
Competitors played in the traditional Men’s and Ladies’ pairs on Saturday and then returned on Sunday to do battle in an innovative Mixed 3-a-side format.
Age limits for all matches were based on the combined ages of team members – thus events like the Over-80s and Over-130s – allowing younger players to compete in the same team as more experienced campaigners.
Event organiser Dick Moody said the sponsorship by Bank of Queensland allowed the quality of the event to be improved to such an extent that it attracted more participants than are expected at the Pan-Pacific Masters to be held on the Gold Coast in November.
“It is generally agreed that this is now a destination event on the Queensland beach volleyball circuit,” Dick said.
“Competitors from as far away as Darwin and Brisbane were unanimous in their praise for the innovative format, the venue, and the organisation put into the event by CitiBeach Volleyball and a committee of volunteers.
“The most noticeable feature of the event, besides the high quality volleyball and close competition, was the camaraderie and goodwill that only the “oldies” can generate.
“Hopefully the great popularity of the event around Townsville will allow us to wrest the dominance of the event from Cairns teams next year.”
Cairns teams were prominent on the winners’ podium and the standout performer was Leonie McDonald from Cairns.
Her teams didn’t lose a game over the weekend. She won the ladies pairs Over-80 division with Caroline Pendelebury from Darwin, and then carried Townsville’s Casey Goudswaard and Mike Hill to victory in the Mixed 3-aside Over-130 grade.