Beach volleyball comes to St Albans’ Verulamium Park: With gallery

Mark Caldwell, Beth Tyler and Neal Rawlinson, St Albans sport and health development team

Mark Caldwell, Beth Tyler and Neal Rawlinson, St Albans sport and health development team - Credit: Archant

St Albans was one of 10 places throughout the UK to host volleyball at its inner city beach courts over the Bank Holiday weekend.

And although it was not quite bikini weather, scores of visitors joined sports stars at Verulamium Park for a raft of sports-based activities on Saturday (24).

They watched exhibition matches featuring London 2012 GB Olympian Rachel Laybourne, current England junior indoor and beach players Robert and Ryan Poole, and Branislav Kovac, a former Slovakian national league player.

The activities were part of Volleyball England’s “Go Spike Big Weekend,” a nationwide campaign to encourage people to try playing volleyball.

Beth Tyler, sports development officer at St Albans district council’s contractor 1Life, said the event was a success despite the poor weather.

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Some activities had to be cancelled but volleyball was played on all three courts.

Beth added: “The showcase match was a great spectacle [but] the heavens opened half way through the match so it was decided to call it a draw!

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“It was a great day for volleyball and getting people to use the beach courts again. We hope this is the first of many great events at the beach courts this summer.”

A spokesman for Volleyball England said that 30 Go Spike events were held on grass, with a further 10 at beach facilities including at Verulamium Park.

St Albans is one of just six venues to boast sand from the London 2012 Olympic beach volleyball court, which was donated to the city.

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