Last week New Zealand hosted its first international beach volleyball tournament for many years, the Asian Beach Volleyball Confederation Continental Cup, an Olympic qualifying event. Held in Mount Maunganui the spiritual home of beach volleyball in New Zealand, the AVC Continental Cup included many teams from the Asia-Pacific region including beach volleyball heavyweights Australia. We were proud to be able to provide those involved with our Aloe Up Sport SPF30 Reef Friendly, Biodegradable Sunscreen throughout the event.
The New Zealand Women’s team came oh so close to making it a double for the Kiwi’s, just narrowly missing out to a strong challenge from Vanuatu. After the first two matches were split, team Vanuatu stepped it up in the ‘golden match’ sweeping the Kiwis 2-0 (21-19, 21-14). The Solomon Islands took down Fiji to take third place.
The Men’s side of the draw saw Trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand and Australia battel for first place. The Kiwi’s were lead by our Aloe Up Ambassador Sam O’Dea and his current partner Michael Watson (Ben O’Dea is still recovering from injury), Thomas Hartles and Alani Nicklin. These four boy’s were staunch in their defence of their home beach and determined not to let the Aussies take the win. This attitude paid off big time with team New Zealand sweeping Australia two games to zero, taking the AVC Continental Cup and moving a lot closer to a spot at the Olympics.
It was a victory for the underdogs in what was called a ‘momentous occasion’ by some keen New Zealand beach volleyball fans in attendance. Coming up against opponents who have had millions invested in their careers though high performance sports national programmes and grants can be daunting but sometimes it can give you a bit of motivation too, especially when they’re in your back yard. This attitude helped the Kiwi’s cause during this tournament and has best summed up by Sam O’Dea in his after match interview: “Sport isn’t fair but that’s what makes it fun. It’s especially fun being an underdog coming out on top. Australia are great competitors but this is our beach and we proved that today.”