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NZ Open Beach Volleyball event moves to the Mount

NZ Open Beach Volleyball event moves to the Mount

A group of local Tauranga businesses, organisations and individuals have joined forces to bring the International New Zealand Beach Volleyball Open event to Mount Maunganui in 2011.

The International New Zealand Beach Volleyball Open event is the highlight of the beach volleyball calendar and has been hosted at Stanley Street in Auckland for the past 16 years. For the first time, it will take place at Mount Maunganui’s main beach on January 22/23, 2011.

In a sign of the economic times, the former National Tour Promotor announced last week that it had failed to secure the necessary funds to run the 2011 tour. Volleyball Bay of Plenty have partnered with local businesses Green Event and Braincell Creative, the players association and a number of local beach volleyball identities to bring the event to the Mount. The group has set out with the goal to make this the best beach volleyball event the Mount has seen and is currently negotiating with the current Men’s World Champions who will training at the Mount at the time.

New Zealand’s number one ranked beach volleyball player Kirk Pitman has been instrumental in bringing the event to the Mount - recognised as the home of New Zealand beach volleyball. Returning home to Tauranga from playing on the world tour overseas with his partner Jason Lochhead, the event in the Mount represents ideal preparation for the 2011 world tour, critical in their build up towards achieving qualification for the 2012 Olympics.

“Having the open tournament in the Mount allows Jason and I to train in our home town for summer with some of the best international players on the world tour” says Mr Pitman. “It also provides a great spectacle on the beach and a fantastic development opportunity for beach volleyball in what the players recognise as the country’s premiere venue”.

The event management group behind the event are looking for support from local businesses and volunteers to make the event a truly local success. Greg Cummings, Chairman of Volleyball Bay of Plenty, acknowledges that the pressure is on to deliver a high quality event on a restricted budget and within a tight timeframe. “We’ve got some talented local event people who are 100% committed, a great pool of volunteers and experience in delivering quality beach events.

I’m confident we can get the local business community behind us to deliver a great event and showcase our beach lifestyle and our region to a national and international audience”.
ENDS.

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