Canberra cements place as volleyball mecca with international tournamentsTom Falco
Published: June 2 2017 - 7:09PM
The ACT Brumbies, the Canberra Raiders and the Volleyroos? Australian star Nehemiah Mote says Canberra can become the "mecca of volleyball" if a high-performance base was set up in the capital.
Volleyball Australia announced this week Canberra will host two international tournaments in July as the sport puts down its roots at the AIS.
The Australian Sports Commission is yet to make a final decision on whether it will transform the AIS Arena into a volleyball specific venue in the coming years.
But Mote believes having the capital's biggest indoor venue at the their fingertips can only do good things for the sport.
"For them to bring up the idea that volleyball could take over the AIS arena is crazy," said Mote.
"If they do that it would show a lot of faith in both the men and women programs. I think there is potential in the vision of Canberra being the mecca of volleyball in Australia."
Volleyball Australia has already taken a number of steps to bring more volleyball activity to the capital after president Craig Carracher said three years ago he wanted to "build a Volleyroos franchise" in Canberra.
The women's Centre of Excellence was established earlier in the year, a number of staff Volleyball Australia staff were relocation from Sydney and Melbourne to Canberra and a $1.063 million investment was made into beach volleyball facilities in Lyneham.
Hosting the international events in the national capital is another step in the right direction.
Volleyball Australia chief executive officer Mathieu Meriaux said it was "critical" to find a home for the sport.
"We've got lots of demand for people to come and spend time at the AIS," said Meriaux
"Unfortunately currently having only two volleyball courts it really restricts our capacity to do that."
The men's Volleyroos will host pool B of the Asian qualification tournament at the AIS next month before the female side plays world grand prix finals games later in July.
"It's going to be a really big event for us," said men's coach Mark Lebdew.
"Playing at the AIS arena is something I personally haven't done in a long time, so I'm really pumped for that opportunity."
FIVB MEN'S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP AVC QIALIFICATION TOURNAMENT
July 12-16 at AIS Arena, Bruce.
WOMEN'S WORLD GRAND PRIX GROUP 3 FINALS
July 22-23 at AIS Arena, Bruce.
This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/act-sport/canberra-cements-place-as-volleyball-mecca-with-international-tournaments-20170601-gwi8eu.html