Could Coolangatta be volleyball capital?
PRAISE for the beach volleyball spectacle has come in thick and fast after history was made at the Coolangatta beach-front this week when the first-ever men’s and women’s beach volleyball Commonwealth Games champions were crowned.
So successful was the event (tickets for the beach volleyball competition were among the first to sell out) that Olympic beach volleyball champion Natalie Cook said Coolangatta would do well to retain a semi-permanent beach volleyball arena following the Games.
“Absolutely – I think that’s what we would like,” she told the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“I think they’ve done a great job in creating a great home for beach volleyball.”
Ms Cook said there were only a few permanent or semi-permanent beach volleyball venues around the world, and Coolangatta could be one of them.
She said this would attract marquee events if Coolangatta was home to at least a semi-permanent arena.
“Oceania championships, Asian championships, even world tour events that currently they put in Manly Beach (in Sydney) that cost a lot more money,” she said.
“We will try to lobby government to keep this semi-permanent. “Let’s see how we go.” Ms Cook’s calls were backed by Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate, who said he would canvass the idea of a permanent beach volleyball home on the Coast after the event proved such a hit with athletes, officials and crowds.
But, he said, “the most important people to ask would be residents”.
SOMETHING’S COOKING: Natalie Cook, pictured watching the volleyball finals with Dawn Fraser.