The prestigious FIVB World Tour 1* event will be staged in Bettystown, County Meath over the weekend of July 17-19th.
This is the initial ladder of the sport at World Level but it is one that Ireland has never imagined to host before.
Oslo and Gothenburg, as well as the Greek island of Ios and Doha, were among the 32 stops on last year’s World Tour.
The successful bid comes on the back of the hosting of Pool C of the CEV Continental Cup at the same venue last June.
That event drew large crowds to the dunes and the 500 seat ‘pop up’ stadium that was erected on the Bettystown beach.
Images of the tournament were broadcast around the world on Volleyball’s streaming services and carried live here in Ireland on pundit Arena.
Ireland will now make its World Tour hosting debut this year, joining the likes of Moscow, Cancun and Rome on the 2020 Tour programme.
The tournament will be Men’s only, featuring some of the best players in the World ahead of the Olympics, it will also reunite the top Irish pairing of Oisin McArdle and Alex Gibbons.
“I’m delighted that Ireland will host the 1* event, it’s the best buzz to play in front of a home crowd I cant wait to get back on Irish sand in July,” said Gibbons.
“I’ve been training hard in Australia over the winter with some top players and hopefully I can bring this form into the Irish Summer.”
The tournament will include a qualification section on Day 1 (Friday 17 July), before the main draw kicks off on Saturday.
“These events are a key part of our strategy to raise the profile of the sport and to inspire the next generation of players,” said Volleyball Ireland President Gráinne Culleton.
“Our volunteers really put on a great show at last years Olympic Qualifier and this success is down to them. We are grateful for the trust that the CEV and FIVB are putting in us, and we can’t wait to go again.”
“Events like this really show we are serious about developing the sport, and they allow us to build great relationships with our partners like Meath County Council and we are appreciative of their continued support.”
Volleyball Ireland will be working with Meath County Council to develop a range of development activities around the competition, including the launch of a new Social Volley programme for beginner players and a Beach Volleyball camp for juniors.
“I am delighted that Bettystown Beach will host its second International Beach Volleyball Tournament,” said Meath Councillor Sharon Tolan.
“Events like this really bring alive the area and we hope that all of our local residents, businesses and visitors can get involved in a wonderful weekend showing off a beautiful stretch of our coastline.”
Volleyball Ireland General Manager Gary Stewart was part of our Sport for Business / PwC 30 Under 30 in 2018. We will be opening nominations for the 2020 group next month. Bear it in mind as recognition for anyone you work with in or around the business of sport that was born in or after 1990.
Image Credit: Dan Sheridan, Inpho.ie