The Gold Coast and Canberra look set to host major international indoor volleyball events in 2017, as Australia’s role in world volleyball continues to grow.
The Gold Coast is in the box seat to host next year’s men’s Group 2 World League finals, while Canberra is set to host the women’s Group 3 World Grand Prix finals.
Volleyball’s world governing body, the FIVB, has confirmed Australia will host the finals of both events.
It will be the second time Australia has hosted both, and Volleyball Australia CEO Mathieu Meriaux said he is expecting strong support from the Gold Coast and Canberra communities.
“The finals will attract some of the most exciting indoor volleyball teams in the world,” Mr Meriaux said.
“We expect volleyball communities in Canberra and on the Gold Coast will be thrilled to have these events in their neighbourhood, because it will provide a tremendous boost to the sport locally.
“Added to that the likely international media exposure, including live television, and it will be a great opportunity to showcase their city.”
The Gold Coast, as host of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and Canberra, as the home of the new women’s volleyball Centre of Excellence, are both seen as key markets in the future of volleyball in Australia.
Sydney hosted the Group 2 men’s finals in 2014, which saw Australia beat France in a thrilling final in front of a capacity crowd at Homebush Bay.
Canberra hosted the 2015 Group 3 Grand Prix finals, the biggest women’s volleyball event in Australia since the Sydney Olympics.
Mr Meriaux said Australia is also likely to host the Asian qualifying tournament for the 2018 men’s World Championships.
“At Volleyball Australia we have worked hard to make our mark on the world stage,” Mr Meriaux said.
“We are proud that volleyball is the world’s most gender-equal sport, and that Australians are now embracing what is also such an exciting game.
“Every time we host international events, we get wonderful feedback. International teams love coming to our country, they know we put on a good show, and for us it further cements our place as one of Australia’s fastest growing sports.”
Mr Meriaux said tickets for both events will go on sale in January.
The World League finals will be held from June 23-25, while the Grand Prix finals will be on July 21-23.