Four courts will be built as the borough’s Olympic legacy
Sand from the beach volleyball tournament at the London 2012 Games will be used to provide a long-lasting Olympic legacy for sportsmen and women in Wandsworth.
With support and funding from the sports governing body Volleyball England, the council has negotiated a deal with the organisers of the 2012 games to secure the sand from the Olympic venue in Horseguards Parade and transport it to Wandsworth’s sporting complex at Barn Elms once the tournament is over.
The 682 square metres of sand will then be used to create international standard beach volleyball courts at this popular 52 acre riverside sporting venue.
There will be space for four recreational courts, which will also be capable of conversion into two international standard courts, which could be used to stage matches involving the British national team.
When volleyball is not being played the courts will also be available for other sports events like beach soccer, tag rugby, beach ultimate frisbee and footvolley.
The £45,000 cost of introducing the sport to Barn Elms has been met in full by a grant from Volleyball England, after they were made a successful bid to Sport England.
Wandsworth beat off competition from a number of other London boroughs that were also bidding to secure this legacy, largely because the sport is already so well established locally. There are a number of volleyball clubs operating in Wandsworth including the Men’s National League Champions Mallory Eagles.
Wandsworth is also a centre of excellence for junior volleyball, having won both the boys’ and girls’ London Youth Games trophies on several occasions over the last five years. Both Ernest Bevin College and Graveney School have PE teachers who are linked with local clubs and have a passion for the sport.
Ernest Bevin has been successful in National School Championships and has provided several pupils to England Volleyball Cadet and Junior squads, while a former pupil at Ernest Bevin is a current member of the GB Team for the London 2012 Indoor Volleyball squad.
Wandsworth’s executive member for environment, culture and community safety Cllr Jonathan Cook said:
“This is really exciting news for Barn Elms and a great Olympic legacy for the borough. Barn Elms is already a superb sports venue with really excellent facilities. Now we will be able to add volleyball and a range of other beach sports to its long list of great attractions.
“I am delighted that we have been able to work with Locog, Sport England and Volleyball England to create a centre of excellence in south-west London for this exciting and fast growing sport."
As well as beach volleyball, Barn Elms offers a diverse range of sports and leisure activities for local people and schools. It has a number of grass pitches for rugby, football, cricket and rounders as well as specialist facilities such as archery, athletics, field events, a gym and boathouse for rowing and sailing. It also has artificial surfaces offering tennis, netball and hockey.
August 3, 2012