‘Sea and Sand’ – a collaborative way to access sailing and beach volleyball
Approximately a year ago, the Beach Volleyball Commission for the Scottish Volleyball Association looked at how they might develop their activities, and provide new opportunities for newcomers to their sport. They hit upon a novel way of generating activity that provides another sport with the chance to get involved – by working with sailing, in the form of the Royal Yachting Association Scotland, they can run beach volleyball activity when a sailing event is on.
In its broadest sense, the ‘Sea and Sand’ project is about bringing together like minded people to build sporting communities along our shores and develop our seaside as free,
flexible and complementary playing fields. While the rules and materials of each sport may differ vastly, the adventure, passion and resilience of the outdoor sportsperson is evident in both groups.
If the geography of the beach is compatible with ‘Sea and Sand’, both sports can run simultaneously, bringing and on-shore/off-shore dimension to Regattas and events, energising them and enhancing the offering to the spectators. This provides new opportunities for both sailing and beach volleyball to bring new people to the sports or to offer an alternate activity for those already on the beach – particularly those in hard to target age groups.
To date, RYA Scotland and the Scottish Volleyball Association have planned three events at Portobello, North Berwick and in Troon as part of the Scottish Windfest. There are tentative plans for activity in Musselburgh with Fisherrow YC.
Both sports stand to gain from this new activity. By providing more to see and do on the beach, possible participants will also then see activity on the water. As we plan to hold such activities beside sailing clubs around Scotland, there is every chance of increasing both the membership for sailing and volleyball clubs. Ultimately, developing a cohesive ‘Sea and Sand’ lobby may become a more effective force in local community discussions around foreshore development. This is an innovative way of developing the relationships between sports, both at a local and at a national level, and very firmly shows the willingness and ability of both of these sports to work together, to provide new activity, and to develop sustainable activity.
In case you are looking to see activity that really showcases a top sailing event, and gives a chance to try Beach Volleyball, then come along to North Berwick to see not only the UK National Topper Championships with over 250 boats out sailing, but also a Beach Volleyball taster session. The Topper Nationals take place in North Berwick from 1 – 5 August, 2011. North Berwick Beach Volleyball Festival on Friday 5th August from 2 – 4pm