I'm a writer blogger who has been resident in the Hutt Valley since the late 1960's. I'm a father, grandfather and great-grandfather. I have seen many people come and go over the years, seen many things good and bad. Now it's time to remember...
Locals and out of towners can watch competitive Beach Vollyball in Lower Hutt at Avalon Park this coming weekend (Jan 30-31).
The Les Mills Beach Volleyball Pro Tour involving both New Zealand and overseas players will play on temporary courts created at the Lower Hutt playground.
Acting Lower Hutt Mayor David Basset says, "It's great for the city that we are finding new and creative uses for our facilities that attract national events and provide new opportunities for our residents.
"This tournament will help inspire the next generation of Kiwi volleyball players and they can also use the courts after the tour has moved on."
Avalon Park was chosen for its central location in the Hutt Valley and the Wellington region. The Hutt City Council was very excited at the opportunity to host this sporting event. The council is reportedly sponsoring the event to the tune of $3500, but the event is possible only because of generous sponsorship from Les Mills Gyms, court constructors Dews Construction, Vollyball NZ and volunteers.
It was reported that the top seven woman's and nine men's from NZ would participate, including the No1 men's pair of Sam O'Dea/ Mike Watson; and No1 Women's pair of Julia Tilley/Shawnne Polley, who are building towards the Olympic at Rio.
The NZ womens team will be playing against their counterparts from Japan,Czech Republic, Canada and Vanuatu, while the men will be up against the USA, Germany, Australia and Japan.
Beach Vollyball at this level hasn't featured in the Wellington region for seven years.
Once the pro games are completed, local leagues and the community will get their opportunity on the courts.
Tour Director at Vollyball NZ, Tim Cleaver, said the Pro Tour would be an awesome spectacle for the public to come down and watch for free, and then hopefully the stars of tomorrow will start getting out and using the courts for the rest of the summer.
Pool play starts Friday morning at 8am and will run through to Sat 3pm, and again Sun 10am - 2pm with the finals from 2-30pm - 4-30pm.