Beach volleyball expanding to all regions
The Namibia Volleyball Federation (NVF) is planning to embarkon a five-year strategic plan that will, amongst others, see the sport branch out to all 14 regions of the country.
The aim is to form a national league involving all 14 regions that will in turn benefit the national team.
NVF came up with a strategy of engaging existing regional associations to lead their activities in their respective regions.
These are the Kavango, Far North, Erongo and Central associations, all actively playing beach volleyball and hosting competitions.
The strategy includes introducing a NVF Cup to be contested by regional teams and select best teams, analyse their performance and see if they can play on a league basis.
The NVF is determined to do things the professional way, as they have the country’s first ever full time professional beach volleyball coach based in Windhoek, who is in charge of the Timeout Beach Volleyball Academy.
The Academy offers beach volleyball coaching clinics and competitions for all ages and abilities. It will also be expanded to the coast this year at the newly built Refuse Solutions Beach Arena at the Dome. This is being done after the NVF noticed massive growth in the game, not only in standard but also the numbers of players.
Timeout Beach Volleyball Academy coach James Verrinder says they have received positive responses from the public. People participating in the sport have grown massively in all age groups, sponsors for tournaments and international trips for the national teams.
NVF plans were boosted when they formed partnership with The Dome Swakopmund and Refuse Solution to build a beach arena with a four-court capacity to develop a community of beach volleyball players at the coast.
With the permanent facilities at the Dome, it will be much easier for people to access the sport without buying expensive equipment first.
“We will have four clinics led by Timeout Beach Volleyball Academy, aiming at different ages and abilities: juniors, youth, beginners/ social adults and experienced volleyball players,” said Verrinder.
The NVF wants all regions to have proper beach volleyball facilities to give regular competitions to all young and old to enjoy and have fun.
Verrinder also has hopes that Namibia will one day qualify for major tournaments like the Olympics, after the ladies team came close to qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics when they finished 7th out of 52 African countries at the continental cup finals in Nigeria last year April.
Verrinder further stressed that for the national team to be strong, it should be fed by teams playing in a competitive league with active players full of match fitness.
Namibian teams performed poorly at the Zone 6 beach volleyball tournament at Swakopmund late last year. The tournament was won by teams from Botswana with the women’s category going to Mafolofolo, while the men’s category was scooped by Police Six, resulting in both teams automatically qualifying for the next tournament to be held in Zimbabwe.