The New Zealand National Beach Volleyball Tour is about to get underway. The first leg of the tour sees a return to Ohope Beach on January 6th and 7th, where thanks to the support of Whakatane District Council, the Maraetotara reserve will come alive with Beach Volleyball Athletes all vying for the first win.
International Teams are coming from a far afield as Germany, Vanuatu, and Japan, along with plenty of New Zealand players, including local pairing Morgan Seymour and Rene Kapa who will enter the tournament as 4th seeds.
Seymour, a two times World U19 competitor, states that it is great to see Beach Volleyball return to one of the most loved beaches. Seymour played his first Beach Volleyball competition at Ohope beach, and is looking forward to getting back to his original stomping ground.
The tour will then move on to Main Beach at Mount Maunganui, for the "Bay of Plenty Times Mt Maunganui Open" where the event will look to grow on the already strong support it enjoys at what is commonly referred to as the home of Beach Volleyball in New Zealand.
International travellers from Germany Patrick Gruhn and Max Levermann say "we love the atmosphere and it is a very welcoming environment to come in to. Gruhn says "I loves the attitude that the kiwi players bring to the sport".
The Tour will then move up the Country to the beautiful shores of Lake Karapiro, finishing in Mairangi Bay, north of Auckland.
New Zealand’s top female team Shaunna Polley and Julia Tilley have represented New Zealand internationally for many years and say they are looking forward to competing at such a high level in their own country. "Japan will really push us in these first few tournaments, they are aiming for the Olympics so its a good bench mark for us."
Once the "Open" event finished, the Pro Tour will start; moving from Hutt City to Mount Maunganui with the grand finale in Auckland. Teams from Netherlands, Canada and Australia also joining the Tour to do battle with the NZ teams who were able to emerge from the open events.
Volleyball New Zealand and APAC Channel Partners would like to thank the following sponsors who have made this tour possible - Ecopods, Bolle, Loaded Sport drinks, STA Travel, BLK, Nice Blocks, Aituz, MyFix, Jandeys, Dole, and Solar D.
Finally; Seymour and the NZ players are excited that the tour has been reignited and is looking forward to Beach Volleyball growing in Ohope (Whakatane) and throughout New Zealand.
To get your early bird tickets keep an eye on GrabOne, or visit www.nzbeachvolleyball.co.nz