They are coming from all over Australia and New Zealand and for the first time three teams from the Northern Territory will also compete in the southern hemispheres largest secondary school sporting event of any sport, the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup.
Melbourne will again play host to more than 6000 participants from 136 schools and 526 teams.
The scale of the event in its 34th year is huge and keeps growing each year. 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.
Three venues will be used this year with Melbourne Sports and Aquatic centre being supported by the State Volleyball Centre and the State Netball and Hockey Centre.
A total of 46 courts hosting teams across 42 divisions for the right to be crowned the best Volleyball High School in Australia.
South Australia’s Heathfield High School, nestled in the beautiful Adelaide Hills, were the overall champions last year and have developed a fierce rivalry with fellow SA representatives Brighton Secondary School.
These schools will again be hard to beat with each bringing over 20 teams 250 children.
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!”
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.
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.”
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.”
The Schools Cup is THE pathway to the elite level with many of Australia’s Beach and Indoor Volleyroos having played in the Schools Cup over the past 30 years. Including current Australian Beach Volleyroo superstar and recent FIVB World Tour Gold Medallist, Taliqua Clancy.
The Australian Schools Cup gets underway this Sunday at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic centre with the opening Ceremony at 4pm to coincide with the Men’s and Women’s Gold Medal matches of the Australian Volleyball League.
The schools cup will run all week concluding on Friday 8 December.