The Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Elite 16 is bringing the beach to the Grand Parade in Cape Town
The Grand Parade in the Cape Town CBD will come to life for a beach volleyball and lifestyle festival next month, with 1000 cubic metres of sand trucked in to create four beach volleyball courts to host the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour. The tournament, from 2-6 November, is a triumph for the City of Cape Town, the local tourism economy and the residents of Cape Town.
The Beach Pro Tour is the worldwide professional beach volleyball tour for both men and women organised by Volleyball World and the Fédération Internationale de Volleyball (FIVB). Winning the Beach Pro Tour is one of the highest honours in international beach volleyball, with only the World Championships and the Olympic beach volleyball tournaments considered to be more prestigious. The current format started in 2022 and is now called the Beach Pro Tour comprising three tiers: Future, Challenge and Elite 16. The Elite 16 round is being held in Cape Town with the top 16 men’s and top 16 women’s teams travelling from all over the world to take part.
The event promoter has secured the ten-year contract to host the tour, in partnership with the City of Cape Town. As well as the Beach Pro Tour matches, display matches will form part of the schedule along with top-class entertainment, making this a must-attend party for residents and visitors to the city.
Adam Brown (Cape Umoya), Local Promoter and Tournament Director, says: “We are delighted to bring this prestigious sporting and lifestyle event to Cape Town. Cape Town is synonymous with world-class sporting events, beaches, a foody and party lifestyle, and a rich cultural heritage. With the City of Cape Town, we are looking to build this into an annual must-attend festival of sport, lifestyle and culture, set to the backdrop of Table Mountain and the Cape Town City’s historical Town Hall.”
The event will be working with local communities to deliver Legacy Projects: “Volleyball World is committed to investing in the communities where their tournaments are held, and these initiatives will ensure that the event ignites interest in volleyball amongst local residents and creates the impetus to perhaps one day field a beach volleyball team at the Olympic Games again. Sustainability is also a key component of our mandate and we have a number of plans in this regard which we will share in due course,” says Brown.
JP Smith, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, says: “Cape Town has been voted the World’s Leading Festival and Event Destination for three of the last four years at the World Travel Awards in part due to the city’s versatile event offering. Adding the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour to Cape Town’s events calendar really enhances the city’s reputation as an events capital, as we have not had a major beach volleyball event in some time. For the City of Cape Town, hosting major international events contributes significantly to the economy through job creation, visitor spending at our tourism attractions, retail and accommodation. We are looking forward to welcoming the competitors and visitors who will be coming down to enjoy the action on the court.’
Llewellyn Rhoda, CEO of 2 Oceans Academy, who delivers the legacy element for the tournament, believes that the international event will inspire young people not only in Cape Town but the entire continent. The legacy programme kicked off on 1 October 2022 and was a huge success as kids were introduced to beach volleyball for the first time. The 2nd event is scheduled for 15 October 2022 and the third for 29-30 October 2022 where the kids will get a chance to play on the same courts that the elite athletes will play on.”
CARES (Culture, Arts, Recreation, Education and Sport), is coordinating aspects of the Legacy Project that Rhoda says has a 5-year plan to create ten sports facilities in Cape Town. The sand from the tournament will be used to build a 44 x 30-metre sports court at KU CARES , for beach soccer, beach tennis, beach netball and beach volleyball programmes.
“We will be including about 500 kids, to watch and be a part of the tournament every day of the event, employing some youngsters as ball retrievers and scorekeepers.”
Anthony Mokoena, Volleyball South Africa President, says it has been eight years since a World Series Beach volleyball event was hosted in South Africa: “The hugely successful FIVB Manguang Beach volleyball event for both genders was widely praised by both players and the FIVB. I am pleased that our hard work in the promotion of volleyball and Beach volleyball caught the attention of the FIVB who have selected us for the rapid development of Beach volleyball in our country. We are the recipients of development programmes, including an accredited beach volleyball coach from Australia to fast-track our athletes to compete internationally. I am confident that once again Volleyball South Africa, the City of Cape Town and the promoter, will successfully host a world-class event.”
South Africa will be represented amongst the 16 Elite teams by Leo Williams and Grant Goldschmidt, using the Wild Card entry given to the host nation. The pair represented SA in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham earlier this year. A further three SA teams will play in the qualification tournament, amongst them a female team.