The appeal of volleyball in Australia has been underlined by the results of the Australian Sports Commission’s first ever national survey of sport participation across the nation.
The AusPlay survey shows volleyball is not just the most gender-equal in Australia, but it is also the third biggest Olympic team sport, one of the largest team sports by participation, and is popular from young children through to the over 50’s. There are more than 240,000 volleyballers throughout Australia.
“These results back up what we have been saying about volleyball for a long time in Australia,” Volleyball Australia President, Craig Carracher, said.
“It has been a sleeping giant that has just been awoken, and has already bypassed traditional Australian sports like hockey and rugby union in terms of participation.
“Just this week in Melbourne, we have more than 5000 students from almost 200 schools taking part in the Australian Schools Cup. It’s the biggest secondary school sporting event in the country, is in its 32nd year, and underlines just how popular volleyball is becoming.”
Volleyball Australia, with the assistance of the Australian Sports Commission and through the generous support of sponsors like Gina Rinehart and helloworld, has worked hard in recent years to build the sport in Australia.
It has hosted several major international indoor and beach volleyball events, has funded its own women’s volleyball Centre of Excellence, and has worked hard to attract new sponsors.
It has also maintained its rating as the most gender-equal sport in Australia, making it the envy of sports around the country.
Mr Carracher also revealed Volleyball Australia will be re-launching Spike Zone, a popular school-aged program, as well as a surf-volley activity.
Today’s AusPlay results come in the same month Volleyball Australia announced a $4 million National Participation Agenda, which will see for the first time every state and territory volleyball association working with VA to lift the quantity and quality of participation.
“What we can see from the AusPlay survey is that volleyball is a sport for life,” Mr Carracher said.
“We have not only enormous numbers at the school-age level, but strong participation through to the mid-50’s.
“And with programs like Spike Zone, our new Participation Agenda, and the fact volleyball is a non-contact sport, we have tremendous opportunities to attract even more athletes from all age groups.”
The AusPlay survey was released on Thursday by Federal Sports Minister, Sussan Ley, and ASC Chair, John Wylie,