New Essex Sport Arena proves perfect for volleyball
9th February 2018
The Essex Sport Arena opened recently and it has been a big hit with volleyball players and fans.
The £12m multi-sport arena hosted it's first volleyball matches on Wednesday in front of a bumper crowd as the University of Essex took on the University of East London in the men's and women's British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) championships.
Over 300 supporters came to watch and made a cacophony of noise as they brought along drums and vuvuzelas to rapturously cheer on the teams. The figure is believed to possibly be a record crowd for a BUCS volleyball game, outside of varsities. There's no reason those numbers can't get even bigger, as the new international-standard facility has a capacity of over 1,500.
There is certainly the appetite for people to watch as some of those who missed out on being there managed to watch the game online. Over 500 people watched the live streams of the matches.
As well as offering a venue which can host top class volleyball events, the new state-of-the-art facility is helping to develop volleyball talent, on and off the court. The arena is home of the newly-formed School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences which will be training sports scientists, coaches, physios, and therapists.
The University of Essex Volleyball Performance Coach, Alex Porter, said: "The new facility is amazing, asides from the superb playing environment, the venue gives us access to cutting edge performance analysis tools with court side replays from multiple angles - this will take our athletes to the next level. Away from the court, the adjacent sports therapy and physio’s rooms will ensure our student athletes receive appropriate treatment straight away, and having the ‘Time Out’ bar overlooking the courts gives us the ability to develop our hospitality and VIP offers."