Beach volleyball courts open in mountainous town(山あいの町で「ビーチバレー」)

Athletes play on a court that opened in Tadami, Fukushima Prefecture.(オープンしたコートで白熱した試合を繰り広げる選手)

 Tadami, Fukushima Prefecture, is a mountainous town that does not face the sea. Yet despite its location, the opening of four beach volleyball courts on July 9 signals the town's intent to become a hub for the sport in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
 The Tadami government built the Sand Volley Court, which is reminiscent of a beach, on land it owns in the Kameoka area. It is the only permanent beach volleyball facility in the prefecture, and the town aims to host national championship events and be a training site for countries participating in the 2020 Games.


 Beach volleyball has been attracting attention because of its selection as an official event for the Tokyo Olympics. It has also featured in recent national athletic meets.
 Beach volleyball courts are built during the summer months in the Hamadori area of Fukushima Prefecture, according to the Fukushima prefectural beach volleyball federation, but there were previously no permanent courts in the prefecture.
 The Tadami government started promoting the construction of Sand Volley Court last summer, and believes a permanent facility will attract countries participating in the Games to the town to train beforehand, the plan that could vitalize the area.


 The four courts at Sand Volley Court each measure 16 meters by eight meters and are available for official competitions.
 The sand on the courts was taken from an area above Taki Dam in the Tadamigawa river. Construction costs came to about ¥15.2 million.


 An exhibition volleyball match featuring top Japanese players took place during the opening-day celebrations. Local residents and others enjoyed the high-level game.


 Hiroshi Ogawa, the president of the federation, expects the sport to become popular in the prefecture.
 "We've improved the environment so beach volleyball practice can be held from spring to autumn," Ogawa said.
 "The federation also wants to use the courts for training camps to develop athletes who can perform well at national-level championships."

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2017年7月10日付・福島民友新聞掲載 】