NOT GOOD ENOUGH: Wendy Van Den Akker puts the Coolangatta Commonwealth Games Beach Volleyball sand through a test.
NOT GOOD ENOUGH: Wendy Van Den Akker puts the Coolangatta Commonwealth Games Beach Volleyball sand through a test. Scott Powick

Gold Coast sand not good enough for Commonwealth Games

IT'S like taking coal to Newcastle: trucking sand to Coolangatta.

The beachfront has been selected as the venue for the 2018 Commonwealth Games Beach Volleyball but competitors won't be playing on the sand of the iconic southern Gold Coast beach.

Instead, athletes will be spiking the ball on hundreds of tonnes of sand trucked in from Brisbane after it was found Coolangatta's sand was too fine and didn't meet competition standards.

A GOLDOC spokesperson said there were strict guidelines set out by the International Beach Volleyball Federation (FIVB) to ensure the surface was perfect for competing.

"It has a very specific set of guidelines for the sand type and mix to be used for training and competition courts in relation to international events," the spokesperson said.

"The advice from the FIVB is that the sand at Coolangatta and surrounds is so fine that it requires a mix of coarseness to ensure athletes have a safe playing surface consistent with the requirements of the Federation."

The spokesperson said it was quite common for sand to be transported in for competition.

"This is not unusual for international standard competition, where a similar requirement existed for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games competition where the sand at Copacabana Beach required a coarser mix to comply with the competition standards," the spokesperson said.

Gold Coast City Councillor Gail O'Neill said while sand might not be from Coolangatta Beach, it doesn't mean there won't be a great atmosphere during the competition.

"People think that (the sand is fine) because we've got those volleyball courts on Coolangatta Beach (but) the Commonwealth Games have a lot a of criteria and restrictions," she said.

"The whole of the foreshore will be a GOLDOC precinct."

The Beach Volleyball contest will be played at Queen Elizabeth Park, Coolangatta from April 6-12, 2018.



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