Edinburgh's Liberton High School makes history with new beach volleyball court
Liberton High School has made history by building Scotland’s first ever school-based permanent beach volleyball facility in its grounds.
The £35,000 project, part of Scottish Volleyball’s Sand for Schools programme, was inspired by the temporary training venue built at a local farmers barn in 2017 for Scottish athletes preparing for the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast. When the farmer eventually needed his barn back, the sand was relocated to the school to continue the legacy of the games.
The Liberton beach volleyball hub will host two full-size courts with an adaptable net/games equipment system to allow for a variety of other beach sports and outdoor activities. The facility aims to attract people of all ages and abilities, with the potential to host international tournaments and events as well as being a training venue for Commonwealth Games athletes.
It is hoped that connecting performance athletes with local young people will help inspire their interest and ambition.
Those behind the project say the focus will be the use of the facility to support the health, wellbeing and skills development of pupils and local people in the Liberton and Gilmerton area.
Liberton headteacher Stephen Kelly, who played a key role in making the project happen, said: “We are all incredibly excited to have this fantastic beach volleyball facility here at Liberton. We all watched with pride the Scottish Commonwealth team competing at the Gold Coast and the best part of this project for us will be the opportunity for our young people to see close-up what it takes to achieve excellence in performance and then aspire to do the same using this facility.”
Edinburgh Beach Volleyball Club have invested financially in the project and will manage the facility outwith school hours, working closely with the school to create opportunities for pupils and teachers to engage in sport both during the school day and as part of an extra-curricular programme supported by Active Schools Edinburgh.
Scottish Volleyball chief executive Margaret Ann Fleming said: “Scottish Volleyball are very excited about the potential that the Sand for Schools project has to inspire the next generation of players, coaches, officials and volunteers, and recognise the positive social impact that our sport can have on people of all ages and abilities both on and off the court.”