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Gold Coast Olympians and Rugby Greats take it to the beach

Local sporting celebrities are trading their usual sports to give beach volleyball a go this weekend at the official opening of the Gold Coast’s newest beach volleyball facility at Bond University this Sunday (May 20).

The Bond University Beach Volleyball Academy will be home to both elite and intermediate level athletes, and will also provide social competitions and coaching clinics for the general public and Bond students.

The academy is headed by local beach volleyball champion, Shannon Zunker who has worked at the Bond University Sports Centre for five years.

Shannon founded the academy as a result of his frustration at the non-existence of beach volleyball programs on the Gold Coast, with serious players forced to travel to Brisbane to access training and coaching services.

“The Gold Coast needs more beach volleyball facilities like this,” Mr Zunker said.

“With no apparent beach volleyball culture evident on our beaches, the creation of man-made facilities that help provide the greater community access to the sport is crucial to ensure the growth of this sport nationally.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t have as many beach volleyball courts as we do tennis courts in every city,” he said.

The formation of an elite beach volleyball program based at Bond University aligns closely with the current direction of the University’s Sports Centre, which is firmly establishing itself as an elite training facility.

Recently the Bond University Sports Centre accommodated the Australian and French National Swimming Teams as well as the Essendon and North Melbourne Football Clubs.

Gold Coasters are invited to an Open Day at the new facility this Sunday May 20, from 1 -4pm.

As well being an opportunity to check out the Coast’s latest and greatest beach volleyball facility, the day will also feature an exhibition game involving some of our local sporting stars.

Olympic and Commonwealth Games Hockey gold medallist Brent Livermore, Wallaby player Lloyd Johansson, QLD Red’s Caleb Brown and former Wallaby and current GC Breakers captain Garrick Morgan, will be in the team taking on Bond’s Academy players.

No doubt they’ll appreciate the skills of beach volleyball stars Nicole Hannan (formerly Sanderson) and current Australian number two player Brett Richardson, who will also be showing off their skills.

While the exhibition game will take place at around 2pm, there will be competitions throughout the day, with the public invited to sign up for social and leisure games.

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