VOLLEYBALL: Interest in volleyball spiked for more than 250 kids across eight Gladstone region schools during the 7th Primary Schools Cup held at Gladstone State High School yesterday.
Organised by former Gladstone Volleyball Association president Kevin Howard, who runs the clinics in his spare time out of sheer love for the game, the aim of the day was to get kids playing entry-level volleyball, known as Spikezone.
Students from grades four to six participated in the competition and for many kids it was their first introduction to the sport.
"The only time they get to play is when I come down to the schools and teach them, but some of the teachers are starting to do volleyball on their own through the term which is good,” Howard said.
"It's good because (the PE teachers) get involved in it and develop their own skills so they can run (programs) themselves.”
Craig Marshall, head coach of the volleyball program at the Queensland Academy of Sport said the Primary Schools Cup helped keep kids within the game.
"The QAS program is one that feeds players into the national programs and into state and senior teams,” he said.
"The focus is to generate players for national programs.
"Regional Queensland generate great athletes and while the focus for elite sport in Queensland tends to come from Brisbane and reaches out, there's very much a recognition that regional Queensland has great potential.
"It's a great concept to have all these different schools at the one venue which is suitable for both male and female.”
Volleyball Queensland president Boris Georgieff said it was nice change to be out of Brisbane and watching juniors in regional Queensland.
"We're here to support the local association particularly Kevin Howard and the magic job he does at inspiring these kids,” Georgieff said.
"This is a great way to introduce kids to the sport - some may kick on and be representative players but does that really matter?
"It's really about these kids getting an introduction to the sport, learning the skills and being a part of a team.”