St Albans gets Olympic beach volleyball sand for courts

Sand used for beach volleyball courts in St Albans Sand from Horseguard's Parade Olympic beach volleyball courts has been delivered to St Albans

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Sand from the Olympic beach volleyball courts is being used to create a new venue for the sport in Hertfordshire.

Verulamium Park in St Albans is one of six places to gain new courts as part of Volleyball England's bid to get more people involved in the activity.

Locog has donated more than 4,000 tonnes of sand from the courts in Horse Guards Parade and St James' Park.

St Albans District Council said the three-court facility should be ready for use by October.

The £500,000 Sport England funded project is part of Volleyball England's grassroots Go Spike campaign, aimed at increasing participation in volleyball by creating more facilities and running free taster sessions across the country.

As well as Verulamium Park, venues will also be created at Brentwood Leisure Centre in Essex, Loxford Park in Redbridge, Wimbledon Park in Merton, Barn Elms Sport Centre in Wandsworth and the Samuel Montagu Youth Centre in Greenwich.

'Fun and exciting'

Richard Shwe, from St Albans council, said: "The reason we are building three courts is to allow for beach volleyball, soccer, rugby, frisbee and beach fitness.

"I think they will be popular because we are also doing a number of development programmes, working with schools, with the Volleyball Harriers Club and other sports clubs to develop it as an asset."

Mr Shwe added the council had been working closely with English Heritage to ensure the creation of the courts did not damage any of the park's Roman remains.

Lisa Wainwright, chief executive of Volleyball England, said it was important for it to provide accessible facilities.

"We are hoping that the buzz around the London 2012 Olympic Games will inspire more people to try out beach volleyball as a fun and exciting new sport," she said.

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