Olympic sport sand arrives

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BEACH volleyball courts fit for the national team are taking shape in Kettering.

Six hundred tonnes of special sand is being used to build the courts at Arena Sports in Thurston Drive. Work is due to be completed in the next two weeks.

Arena Sports is already home to the National Volleyball Centre. The beach courts will be large enough to accommodate either three recreational volleyball courts or one beach football or beach rugby court.

Following the huge success of the beach volleyball Olympic test event in August 2011 in Horse Guards Parade in London, the Olympic committee and Volleyball England agreed to donate some of the special sand they used to build courts in Kettering.

Kettering councillor Stephen Bellamy said: “Beach volleyball is proving to be one of the most popular attractions at the Olympics and in a few months we should be able to provide local people with the chance to get involved.”

Arena Sports manager Tom Burnett said: “There is a fun aspect to beach sports that means everyone can have a go, not just elite competitors.”

The courts in Kettering are the first inland courts outside of London and are part of a Volleyball England Legacy initiative to create 10 new beach courts by 2013.

Mr Burnett said: “We are proud to be at the forefront of this project.

“The courts have already sparked a lot of interest from our five-a-side footballers eager to use the new beach facilities.”

The courts are expected to be used for training by the England team in the build-up to the Olympics and Arena Sports is hoping to attract teams from other countries who wish to use the courts.