A VOLLEYBALL club needs 400 tonnes of the right sort of sand to bring the first beach courts to the city next year.

Oxford Volleyball Club is hoping to build two courts after struggling to find anywhere in the area to play the sport.

Players currently have to endure 85-mile trips to the nearest facilities in Portsmouth in order to train.

Now they hope to raise £55,000 to pay for it, which includes about £17,000 for the correct type of sand.

Chairwoman of the club’s beach volleyball court committee, Maïté Braud, said: “We have nowhere to practise and teach the public.

“A lot of sports can be played on a beach and there’s nothing around Oxfordshire that provides this.”

The club is working with Oxford City Council to secure the £55,000 needed to build two new outdoor courts.

Strict regulations from governing body Volleyball England have to be followed about the type of sand used.

Sand used must be levelled as flat as possible and must not be too fine to avoid sticking together or too dry and hard as it can become too compact.

Builder’s sand is not acceptable as the coarseness could cause injuries.

Although firm proposals have not been established, Cutteslowe Park has been earmarked as a possible location for the new sand courts.

The club provides indoor volleyball training at Headington School and Oxford High School to almost 100 players between eight and 60.

It submitted a funding bid to Sport England two weeks ago but will not hear of the outcome until September.

It has also launched a petition to rally support, with almost 200 residents backing the proposals.

French-native Miss Braud, from Abingdon, joined the Oxford club after arriving in England seven years ago.

The 39-year-old said: “It’s about getting a chance to show people that beach volleyball is a great sport.”

On the beach

  • An official beach volleyball court is 8m x 16m, while an indoor volleyball court is 9m x 18m.
  • Beach volleyball is usually played by two teams of two players whereas indoor volleyball is played by two teams of six.
  • During London 2012, beach volleyball tournaments took place at London’s Horse Guards Parade but Team GB did not manage to secure any Olympic medals.
  • American duo Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings took home gold in the women’s competition.
  • The men’s tournament saw Germans Julius Brink and Jonas Reckermann secure gold.
  • There were 108 matches played at Horse Guards Parade and most sessions were enjoyed by capacity crowds of 15,000.

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