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Beach volleyball tour action heads to Gorleston sands

Mayor with Beach Volleyball winnersThe all-action summer sport of Beach Volleyball returns to the sands of Norfolk this month as Gorleston-on-Sea beach becomes the battleground for top teams when the Volleyball England Beach Tour heads to the resort.

The tour has visited the Great Yarmouth area for the past 12 years, providing holidaymakers and locals with a chance to get close to the stars.

Two-person teams from across the country, including some international players, will compete in first of five rounds as the tour visits a handful of iconic seaside locations.

The beach tour starts at Gorleston on June 25-26 before heading on to Skegness (July 9-10), Weymouth (July 30-31), Bridlington (August 6-7) before the finals at Margate on August 20-21.

Previous years have seen crowds cheering men’s, women’s and junior teams on as they serve, block and spike shots across the net. 

The competition is making its second visit to Gorleston, where the golden sands will host eight open beach courts and a 150-seat grandstand for the main matches near the yacht pond.

Play runs from 9am to around 5pm each day, with entry and local parking free.

There will be a Go Spike recreational court set up for the public to have a go at the sport having been inspired by the players.

Among the top competitors are reigning women’s champions Jessica Grimson and Vicky Palmer, and there is set to be a showdown between England under-21s teammates Issa Batrane and Harry Jones.

Volleyball England’s major events manager Sanjib Sohata said: “The events are always a great occasion, whether you are a player or spectator. It is a fantastic spectacle so we’d love to see as many people there as possible.”

The tour, which is sponsored by healthy food shop and restaurant company itsu, is supported by the Greater Yarmouth Tourism and Business Improvement District and Great Yarmouth Borough Council. The BID is funding events, improvements and publicity to attract more visitors and spending power across the area to benefit tourism and other traders.

BID events chairman Lyndon Bevan said: “The Beach Volleyball event will introduce players and spectators to Gorleston beach, where the sands are looking at their best. Hundreds of people will also be able to sample local facilities – and hopefully return in the future.”

The grandstand is being sponsored by local businesses Porterhouse Grill, Marine and Ocean Bay Amusements, Pier Hotel, Marina Bay Café and EnterpriseGY.

Mitchell Swann, director at Marine and Ocean Bay Amusements, said: “We are really pleased to be welcoming the Beach Volleyball back to Gorleston. It is a great family day out and the standard of play is really high with several international players .”

Gorleston beach is playing host to another major sporting event next month. The National School Sailing Association regatta will make its first ever visit to Norfolk, bringing hundreds more competitors, supporters and onlookers to the shore and seafront from July 24-29.