VolleyFest programme named awards finalist

Volleyball NZ and its Regional Associations have been shortlisted as a finalist in the NZ Sport and Recreation Awards for Community Impact via the VolleyFest Programme.

Volleyball New Zealand submitted a nomination in the National and Regional Community Impact Category showcasing the success of the VolleyFest Initiative delivered by Manawatu Regional Volleyball, Canterbury Volleyball, Manukau Auckland Volleyball and Northland Volleyball.

VolleyFest is a grass-based version of the game, and each region worked to engage Māori and Pasifika women and girls to experience volleyball through a fun, safe, and inclusive environment.

After three years of delivery of VolleyFest in the Northland region, the programme has influenced and led positive change in participation across the region in several areas:

  • A platform has been established for youth leaders and community volunteers to support delivery
  • Participants have developed confidence and capability to play volleyball via engaging in community events
  • Coach and Referee development has been delivered to support ongoing participation opportunities in volleyball
  • The Northland community has collaborated in planning and delivery with other codes and community providers

Northland Volleyball Chairman Grant Harrison said the focus of the region’s work has been in delivery to isolated areas and empowering women as community leaders within the programme.

“Volleyball Northland is excited to have contributed to the Volleyfest initiative that is being recognized at the New Zealand Sport Community Sport and Recreation Awards,” Harrison said.

“We have placed deliberate focus on engaging some of our more isolated communities by taking the sport to them in a form that can be sustained.

“A big part of this has been the involvement of young women in the delivery of the programme. It’s been particularly rewarding to have been able to provide opportunities for the empowerment of and leadership by young women in communities, especially those with a high young Māori demographic.”

Volleyball NZ Partnerships Manager Katie Horne is delighted that the mahi of Regional Associations in the Volleyfest programme is being acknowledged on a national level. 

“To be recognised as a finalist for community impact is so special,” Horne said.

“It confirms that some of the amazing work our Regions are putting into the game at the participation and exploration level is providing positive experiences and opportunities for connection and leadership.”

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on 31 October at Te Pae Convention Centre in Christchurch.

For the full list of finalists for the 2022 NZ Sport and Recreation Awards click here.

Case Study: Volleyfest

Case Study: Volleyfest

Volleyball New Zealand’s (VNZ) Volleyfest programme was a successful recipient of Sport New Zealand’s Young Women’s Activation Fund, initially focused on creating more opportunities within volleyball for young women, particularly young Pasifika and Māori women.