New Arena Triumphs in Volleyball Tournament

The new $20 million indoor stadium opened alongside the Pettigrew Green Arena in Taradale just four months ago has passedits first big test with flying colours in staging the national interprovincial volleyball championships over the King’s Birthdayholiday weekend.

More than 150 matches were played across the six grades and at least 12 courts during the three days, starting at 8am onSaturday and finishing with the finals on Monday afternoon.

Volleyball New Zealand business administration and events manager Amanda Isada said the “playing space”, developed tomeet a rapidly growing need for more indoor courts in Hawke’s Bay for sports such as volleyball, basketball and indoor soccervariety futsal, was “amazing”.

“Overall it was an awesome tournament, the venue was fully utilised, we were able to move around the seats to give eachcourt space for spectators, the equipment was top quality and the playing space was amazing,” she said.

The teams were excited to be playing in a new facility. They were also pleased to be able to drive around Napier without thecongestion that occurs in the bigger cities with suitable venues for such a large tournament, she said.

Regional Indoor Sports and Events Centre Trust chairman Craig Waterhouse said the event, in the Rodney Green FoundationArena, was “exceptional”, both as an event and for the region, bringing about 700 people to Napier for at least three days andnights.
“I hope they come back again next year,” he said, anticipating increaed use of the facilities, which are supported by both theNapier city and Hastings district councils. “Basketball and volleyball growth continues to be massive.”

On the courts, the men’s honours were shared, headed by Harbour, who successfully defended the open title in commandingfashion, dropping just one match all weekend and beating the Canterbury Invitational team 3-0 in Monday’s final.

Canterbury beat WECA (Waitemata, East and Central Auckland) in the under-19 final, and Waikato beat Bay of Plenty in theunder-17 final.

By Doug Laing

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