The prestigious FIVB World Tour 1* event will be staged in Bettystown, County Meath over the weekend of July 17-19th. The successful bid comes on the back of the hosting of Pool C of the CEV Continental Cup at the same venue last June. The execution of that Olympic qualifying event means Ireland will make its World Tour hosting debut this year, joining the likes of Moscow, Cancun and Rome on the 2020 Tour programme.
The tournament will be Men’s only, featuring some of the best players in the World ahead of the Summer Olympics, it will also re-unite the top Irish pairing of Oisin McArdle and Alex Gibbons (pictured 1=OM, 2=AG) who are very much looking forward to the support of the Irish crowds, Gibbons said, “I’m delighted that Ireland will host the 1* event, it’s the best buzz to play in front of a home crowd I cant wait to get back on Irish Sand in July. I’ve been training hard in Australia over the winter with some top players and hopefully I can bring this form into the Irish Summer.”
The tournament will include a qualification section on Day 1 (Friday 17 July), before the main draw kicks off on the Saturday.
Volleyball Ireland president Grainne Culliton added, “These events are a key part of our strategy to raise the profile of the sport, and to inspire the next generation of players. Our volunteers really put on a great show at last years Olympic Qualifier and this success is down to them. We are grateful for the trust that the CEV and FIVB are putting in us, and we cant wait to go again. Events like this really show we are serious about developing the sport, and they allow us to build great relationships with our partners like Meath County Council and we are appreciative of their continued support.”
Volleyball Ireland will be working with Meath County Council to develop a range of development activities around the competition, including the launch of a new Social Volley programme for beginner players and a Beach Volleyball camp for juniors. Commenting on the news, Meath Cllr Sharon Tolan added, “I am delighted that Bettystown Beach will host its second International Beach Volleyball Tournament. Events like this really bring alive the area and we hope that all of our local residents, businesses and visitors can get involved in a wonderful weekend showing off a beautiful stretch of our coastline.”
Last years event drew excellent crowds to the 500seater pop up stadium and surrounding dunes, gaining widespread media interest both locally and nationally.
Securing an event of such magnitude is testament to the hard work, vision and ambition of Volleyball Ireland.