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Tauranga – Where beach volleyball finds sunshine this summer – Council

This summer, Mount Maunganui is set to cement its status as the home of beach volleyball, welcoming some of the best players to the Beach Pro Tour Futures event this week and hosting multiple beach volleyball events throughout the season.

Following the success of the inaugural World Beach Pro Tour in April 2023, and the incredible attendance of the Secondary Schools Beach Championships and the GJ Gardner Beach Tour finals last month, the Beach Pro Tour Futures event marks a significant return to the iconic New Zealand beach, attracting global talent.

Nelita Byrne, Venues & Events Manager at Tauranga City Council, expresses her excitement about the Beach Pro Tour Futures event returning to the stunning Mount Maunganui beachfront.

“This is a real highlight on our summer events calendar, and Tauranga takes pride in being the custodian of this prestigious event. We extend manaakitanga to our international guests, ensuring they feel, not just welcomed but, embraced and cared for during their time in Tauranga.”

International athletes competing in the event will be welcomed to Tauranga with a pōhiri on beautiful Mount Maunganui Main Beach by local iwi, Ngāti Ranginui.

The athletes, from 13 countries including the USA, Vanuatu, Australia, Japan, and Sweden, will be welcomed to the city with waiata (songs) and whaikōrero (speeches), immersing the visitors in a unique cultural experience.

The Beach Pro Tour Futures event receives proud support from Tauranga City Council and from the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund, serving as a vital pillar for events like this, enhancing their accessibility to all members of the community.

Through crucial financial assistance, the fund empowers local organisers to host these events, fostering community involvement and enriching the cultural and sporting landscape of the region.

The Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund is committed to providing financial support to events that are community-led, deliver positive social and economic outcomes, and enrich our communities, with upcoming events including the Surf Lifesaving National Championships next week.

Beach Volleyball is seeing huge growth year on year, with the Secondary Schools Beach Championships seeing more attendees and courts than ever before and record numbers expected to flock to Mount Maunganui Main Beach to see the skills of the Beach Pro Tour Futures athletes up close.

“It’s events like these that provide an exceptional opportunity for our community, both spectators and up-and-coming beach volleyball players, to witness and draw inspiration from the skills of international athletes,” emphasises Byrne.

Steven Upfold, CEO of Volleyball New Zealand, sees the Beach Pro Tour Futures 2024 event as a crucial step for the sport in the country.

The strong bond between Mount Maunganui and beach volleyball sets the stage for another remarkable Beach Pro Tour event, thanks to the outstanding and ongoing support of the Tauranga Western Bay Community Event Fund and Tauranga City Council.

“The council’s commitment to supporting these events showcases their dedication to the growth and success of beach volleyball, creating a lasting legacy for the sport in Tauranga year after year,” says Upfold.

 

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