• Patrick McBride

Big Spike in Volleyball numbers

Volleyball is on the rise on the West Coast.

The seasonal competition for Volleyball kicks off tonight with 16 teams playing across two grades. Local Volleyball enthusiast Sam Gibbens is impressed with the interest from locals.

"This is the most teams we've had in a long time with it normally being 12-13 teams in a season. Hokitika are also running 16 teams this year so that's over 250 players between the two townships", Gibbens said.

On paper teams are looking well matched with a splash of experience and new faces.

Ctirad Benacek has been said to have introduced volleyball to New Zealand, and being apart of creating the club “Sparta” in 1954 in Panmure, Auckland.

A Czech Republic National Representative who played in the 1948 Olympics in London had come to New Zealand in the early 1950’s and in the New Zealand volleyball circles was nick-named “Mr Volleyball”.

Benacek was also mentioned to be one of the best top 3 coaches in the world of Volleyball during the 1970’s & 80’s.

Spectators can head along to the Westland Recreation Centre to view the action.