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Aussies get home sand advantage

13 October 2014

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Beach volleyball great Kerri Pottharst has won a long-running battle to have the sport returned to Sydney's Manly beach.

After two long hot summers of negotiations, Manly Beach has been reinstated as a venue on the national beach volleyball calendar this year.

It crowns a triumphant fortnight for Pottharst, the Sydney 2000 Olympic gold medallist who led the campaign to have Manly reinstated and was also inducted, with partner Natalie Cook, into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame last Thursday.

Not only will Manly Beach host the opening round of the Australian beach volleyball tour grand slam, but it will also be the venue for the Oceania championships and the Oceania Continental Cup Olympic qualifiers.

It will mark a grand return to the sport for the beach considered to be the birthplace of beach volleyball in Australia, and where Pottharst honed her gold medal-winning skills.

"It's been a fantastic team effort by everyone involved to get Manly back on the national tour," Pottharst said.

"Not only will people get the chance to see Australia's best beach volleyballers in action, but they'll also see the best players from throughout Oceania - all on beautiful Manly Beach."

The last time the Australian tour stopped at Manly was in the summer of 2011-12.

Due to contractual problems, the Sydney leg had to be relocated over the next two summers.

The 10-day beach volleyball extravaganza will begin on November 14 with the Oceania championships, followed by the Continental Olympic qualifiers from November 17 and the first round of the Australian Grand Slam tour from November 24.

AAP

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