The largest annual secondary schools tournament to occur in New Zealand will return to Palmerston North in 2010.
Volleyball New Zealand’s NZ Secondary Schools Volleyball Championships have been confirmed to be hosted at Arena Manawatu for the third year running, and 2010’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever.
The tournament is growing every year, and this year Palmerston North was home to 145 teams from all over New Zealand, creating close to 12,000 bed nights for the city. Despite the current economic climate, 2009 was the largest tournament to date.
“Securing the tournament for three years in a row is a great testament to the region and is proof that all the work that has been put in by PN Volleyball, Arena Manawatu, and Sport Manawatu has paid off,” says Thomas Buchanan, event coordinator at Sport Manawatu.
Historically, this event has rotated to a different region each year, however due to its size it has become increasingly hard for many regions to host. Arena Manawatu is currently the only venue in New Zealand that can host the event under one roof, playing a huge part in Palmerston North’s ability to convince Volleyball NZ to return in 2010.
VNZ’s General Manager, Pam Brodie, says “Arena Manawatu is the ideal venue for this event, and we get exceptional support from Sport Manawatu and PN Volleyball.”
Beyond 2010 however is not yet secure. The event needs local funding in order to continue in its current format, and has received assistance from the Palmerston North City Council in the past. Due to current funding guidelines however, this funding cannot be confirmed in advance, nor for the long-term, which may mean the end of the event in the city after 2010.
“Other regions are now competitively bidding for our event, offering significant monetary incentives. We need significant financial commitment to see the event continue at the same level.” Says Mrs Brodie.
“Returning to Palmerston North after 2010 is not out of the question, but a competitive bid would have to be submitted, with a confirmed level of financial commitment.”
The 2010 NZ Secondary Schools Volleyball Championships are scheduled to be held in late March/early April 2010.