Volleyball is set to become Australia’s biggest sporting obsession.
Around 6000 competitors will converge on Melbourne from December 3rd for a week of volleyball, making it the largest secondary school sporting event in the country for any sport.
Volleyball enjoys perfect gender equality and this event is no exception.
From humble beginnings in 1984 and just 28 teams the annual Australian Volleyball Schools Cup will see a record 534 teams from across Australia and New Zealand take part in 2017.
The numbers are mind blowing, over 2200 matches will be played with more than 250,000 electrifying rallies competing in the world’s most gender equal sport.
This year the event will be held across 4 venues in Melbourne from December 3 -8.
In 1997 the Schools Cup was forced to be moved from Canberra, where it began in 1984, to Australia’s sporting capital Melbourne due to the massive infrastructure needed to cope with such a huge sporting event.
The growth is nationwide and for the first time the Northern Territory will field teams to ensure that every corner of Australia is represented.
Volleyball Australia CEO Mathieu Meriaux says “This event is one of the most exciting event on our annual calendar. The boom is Nation Wide with all State Schools Cups experiencing unprecedented growth.”
The Schools Cup is THE pathway to the elite level with many of Australia’s Beach and Indoor Volleyroos having played in this incredible event over the past 30 years. Including current Australian Beach Volleyroo superstar and recent World Tour Gold Medallist, Taliqua Clancy.
Volleyball Australia event manager Kasia Stawski couldn’t be happier “We are thrilled about the 2017 Australian Volleyball Schools Cup! This is the largest schools sporting event in Australia and its set to get even bigger!”
As might be expected hosts Victoria have the most teams entered with 153, closely followed by South Australia 146 and Queensland 117. New Zealand will send 7 teams across the Tasman.
The event is a major win for Victoria as well with an injection of over $8.5m expected into the local economy.
Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher says “The huge success of the Schools Cup wouldn’t be possible without the wonderful support of the Victorian Government as well as major sponsor Helloworld Travel, Mrs Gina Rinehart through the GH Foundation and the Australian Sports Commission.”
Volleyball Australia’s innovative four year $4 million dollar co-investment in a National Sport Participation and Pathway agenda launched earlier this year is now having major impact and incremental growth is on the horizon.
The “We are Volleyball” program was launched in April this year with the key to its success being the involvement of all States and Territories in growing participation rates.
The future of Volleyball in Australia looks very bright indeed!