Beach volleyball players from as far as Darwin have congregated in record numbers to Bundaberg for Beach 365’s annual 4 of Clubs tournament.
The 4 of Clubs competition is an inter-club tournament, and it is the biggest volleyball competition of its kind in Queensland, with 340 rebound beach volleyball games played.
This year’s three-day event has attracted a record 68 teams, with 19 from the Bundaberg Region, several teams from Fraser Coast, Alice Springs and Darwin.
Most of the other teams travelled from Brisbane to compete, while players from Monto have joined in on the fast-paced action at the indoor-sand courts.
Beach 365 managing director Cyndi Kruschel said after starting the 4 of Clubs tournament five years ago the competition had grown substantially each year and, due to its continued success and growth, they looked forward to holding it again.
“The first year we had 20 teams, last year we had 48 and this year we have a massive 68 teams,” she said.
Beach 365’s Shane Piltz said the 4 of Clubs was a drawcard for other clubs to come to the Bundaberg Region.
“By holding the 4 of Clubs we can see, and hear, about the cash injection it gives Bundaberg,” Shane said.
“Players come here to play, but while they are here they come to see the turtles, they go swimming and surfing, they play golf, and check out all of the tourist things Bundaberg has to offer and some stay for a full week.”
The 4 of Clubs is an inter-club tournament of four-a-side volleyball teams that hit the sand courts at the all-weather venue for 26-minute games that consist of men’s, women’s and mixed teams.
Players love the Bundaberg Region
Shane said the 4 of Clubs tournament enticed players to come to Bundaberg because of its difference to other beach volleyball competitions.
“It’s a different concept that no one else runs,” he said.
“They are usually six a side, and we have the four a side, and a point of difference is that you can play multiple competitions as well.
“You can play men’s, you can back it up and play mixed as well, I think that is appealing to some players who travel here.
“Or you know some players only want to play one game and then spend the rest of the time enjoying themselves.”
Lincoln Rothwell has travelled from Bundamba to compete in the 4 of Clubs tournament and he said he loved coming to the Bundaberg Region each year.
“I have played in every one of the 4 of Clubs tournaments since 2015,” he said.
“I love it, I love the trip, playing with familiar faces and catching up with everyone, it’s really a great social trip away.
Lincoln manages Quicksand Rebound Volleyball and he said Beach 365’s 4 of Clubs tournament was competitive and the teams always enjoyed the annual trip to the area.
“One of the other things we love about this tournament is that it gives us the chance to play against Alice Springs and Palmerston, those guys travelling here really is a testament to the tournament,” he said.
Palmerston player Bruce Simpson said it was his first time he had competed in the 4 of Clubs and he said he loved the four-a-side concept.
“What can I say, great, friendly people, beautiful climate, great weather and I look forward to seeing the sights of Bundaberg,” he said.
“I look forward to a great weekend and I’m sure I will enjoy some great Bundaberg hospitality, and I have snuck in one extra day to check out the sights of the town.”
Spectators are welcome to head along to Beach 365 and check out the action of the games that will continue all day Saturday and Sunday, with the teams competing for perpetual trophies and medallions.
Shane and Cyndi said it takes about eight months of planning to ensure the annual event runs smoothly and they hoped the community would head along and catch out one or two of the 340 rebound beach volleyball games being battled out in the sand over the weekend at Beach 365, Steptoe Street, East Bundaberg.
- Earlier report: Competition draws volleyball players from interstate