Beach volleyball now has a home in Fernie with two new courts having gotten their nets on Saturday (Apr. 30) and a third getting its net soon.
The sandy new courts are located just south of the gazebo near the basketball court by the Aquatic Centre, and are open to the public, according to Fernie Volleyball Club (FVC) president, Dennis Staples.
The construction was completed around the end of October 2021 and had been in the works since August that year.
“We didn’t get a chance to put up the nets or anything like that before the winter, but we’re ready to do that now,” Staples said in an earlier interview with The Free Press.
There is still some landscaping work to be done, but that wont prevent them from being open and usable, he said.
Though it isn’t yet set in stone, a grand opening ceremony is in the works for mid-May.
“We’ve already got a couple of weekends identified for the first events and tournaments, and we think there will be more of that.”
Volleyball BC Youth Beach Tournaments are going to be hosted in Fernie for the first time, “which is exciting,” Staples said.
One event is planned for late May, and will feature a Saturday camp for a range of ages to introduce the game and provide a some coaching. On Sunday, there will be a ‘Kootenay high school beach open’ tournament for grades 9 through 12, Staples said.
In early July, there will be a tournament-style event for U13 and U18 boys and girls, which may bring in teams from Alberta all the way to the Okanagan.
“There’s also talk of potentially organizing an adult event in collaboration with some local businesses,” he said, adding that they haven’t yet pinned down dates for that, but are hopeful it will take place. There are also talks of a potential adult league on the beach courts over the summer.
The FVC also plans to expand their regular summer programming to accept more kids and include the beach courts.
The project cost was around $95,000. Funding came from the Columbia Basin Trust ($25,000), Teck ($25,000), the Resort Municipality Initiative ($33,000), and the FVC ($12,000).
“We’re ready to get going this spring,” Staples said.