In action: Liam Holding from Ballarat Volleyball’s Phantoms makes his mark against the Melbourne University Renegades. Photo: FILE

Big birthday for Ballarat Volleyball

April 8, 2021 BY

AFTER postponing the event last year, Ballarat Volleyball is set to celebrate 50 years of operations this weekend.

Association president Damon Minotti said the party at the Mars Minerdome on Saturday, 10 April has been “long-awaited.”

“Originally planned for the actual anniversary in 2020, like most other events and volleyball competitions last year, it was cancelled and then indefinitely postponed,” he said.

“Volleyball began in Ballarat at the old YMCA in Camp street in 1970 and has continued to thrive at various venues around town, now finding a permanent home at the Mars Minerdome.

“The association has been a constant fixture for local enthusiasts, introducing countless new players to the sport over the years and providing members the opportunity to play at all levels, whether it be mixed social, men’s or women’s A grade, in Ballarat representative teams, or providing a pathway to state and national representation.”

Olympian and former Ballarat Grammar student Tamsin Hinchley is the most high-profile athlete to come from Ballarat Volleyball, however the association has produced many state and national-level players who have competed around the country and across the globe, including Mr Minotti himself.

He said the 50th anniversary celebrations offer an opportunity to recognise and award the contributions and achievements of volunteers and members since the group launched.

“Like all sports, it has had its ups and downs over the years with participation numbers, but we are currently undergoing a significant resurgence, with an influx of new junior and senior players into competition and training programs,” he said.

“The chance to not only showcase this next on-court generation to past members, but also for current members to acknowledge those that have made it possible for them to play today, is a unique opportunity that rarely presents itself in our sport.

“We can’t wait to share some of those famously faded and always embellished stories of success, such as the 25th anniversary of the greatest comeback in the history of Country Championship volleyball, or to laugh at the on and off court fashions of decades past.”

Six “high-quality” Victorian Volleyball League opening round matches will be played on courts one and two from 10am, before the party begins at 6pm.

“Volleyball Ballarat was given the green light to host the opening… fixture between Phantoms Volleyball Club and Melbourne University Renegades.”

Any past or present Ballarat Volleyball players are invited to attend. Visit bit.ly/39Irc0Q for tickets.