Bunbury Volleyball Association has seen great success over the past few years. We spoke with Alex Moir and Nicola Cross about the exciting developments on several fronts.
Bunbury Volleyball Association was recently recognised as the largest regional volleyball club in the State. How did you get there? What’s driving the success?
The Bunbury Volleyball Association has offered year-round volleyball for many years. We’re fortunate that the City of Bunbury and the South West Sports Centre are very supportive of volleyball in Bunbury, enabling us to deliver a summer beach season from permanent volleyball courts at Koombana Bay Beach, a winter hard court season at the South West Sports Centre, and some additional tournaments and training.
We’ve also introduced junior training days in partnership with AVAcademy and Bunbury Indoor Beach Volleyball. We hope to continue to offer these training days and expand to include all age categories and skill levels.
We’ve seen interest grow each year for our biggest competition, the South West Personnel Corporate Cup. We also launched the Two City Tournament in partnership with The Hub in Perth, with over 45 teams playing at each event. All the events were a great success, perhaps matched by the social scene that included themed costumes for the Two City Tournaments.
We are hoping to organise similar tournaments in 2021 and would love to involve the other regions such as Busselton, Mandurah and possibly Albany.
2020 was a challenging year for many clubs and associations. How did you keep momentum during the interruptions?
We were lucky that we were able to complete our summer series at Koombana Bay Beach before the restrictions on gatherings came into place. Our last night was our South West Corporate Cup finals with teams battling it out to win the season. There were some great games and an enjoyable night.
When the COVID restrictions were implemented, we faced some disruption but the committee continued planning for an adjusted season for the players. We were able to run a shorter hard court season which bought some new faces to the competition. Some of these new players have now made the transition to our 2020-2021 beach season that started in November.
You mentioned the successes with Corporate Cups. Can you tell us more about these?
Our annual South West Personnel Corporate Cup competition continues to be our biggest weekly summer event. This year we had 29 teams entered, with more being turned away each year due to reaching our capacity.
We run this competition as a social competition. Players are given very basic volleyball rules and the main priority is to have fun. We encourage good sportsmanship and developing our playing skills. The formula seems to be a success: each year we have about a 70% return rate of players, as well as new members and teams each year.
Our competitions for 4s or pairs are a great option for players in the Cup who’d then like to take the next step and stay involved in volleyball. This initiative works on so many levels.
On that note, there have been some really positive participation numbers for volleyball in Western Australia, with the sport rising up near the traditional leading sports. Why do you think that’s the case?
Volleyball is an international sport and played in so many countries. It is such an exciting sport to play and watch. Also, volleyball can be played anywhere from indoor stadiums, to the beach, on the grass and in the pool.
The volleyball clubs and Associations across the State have done a great job of meeting the modern expectations of sport and recreation: it’s fun, it’s social, it’s exciting and it’s easy to get involved!
And what’s next for the Club in 2021?
We will be continuing to offer our summer beach competition, pairs, 4 aside and corporate cup and our hard court competition in 2021. As well as our regular seasons, we will be running training sessions and stand alone tournaments.
It is hoped that the training and tournaments will be in partnership with other clubs and groups throughout the South West. Volleyball is really gaining popularity in the region.
We’re about to announce the appointment of a SW Regional Development Officer. What opportunities does this open up for volleyball in the region?
We are very excited for the appointment of a SW Regional Development Officer. There is a lot of potential for the growth of volleyball in the South West, with all the clubs looking to offer different volleyball activities and pathways.
We feel that the Regional Development Officer will be key in creating opportunities for more people to enjoy volleyball across the region. We hope that the officer will be able to coordinate with all the clubs to allow us to better utilise resources and offer more development opportunities to players but also coaches and officials.
How can people get involved with the Club?
During summer you can come see us at Koombana beach on Monday and Wednesday nights. During winter we play at the South West Sports Centre on Wednesday nights.