A mock-up graphic of what the beach volleyball courts will look like at the Lagoon.

Lagoon to be transformed to host beach volleyball

Spectacular shots of Darwin’s iconic waterfront will be served up to global audiences, with the Recreation Lagoon unveiled as the beach volleyball venue for the Arafura Games 2019.

Minister for the Arafura Games Natasha Fyles said at the venue launch that more than 100 beach volleyball players will take to the sand, with 16 women’s teams and 36 men’s teams signed up for the “fiercely contested tournament”.

“We have athletes attending from more than 40 nations, and hosting the beach volleyball competition at the Darwin Waterfront will show off this world-class tourist destination to an international audience while activating the surrounding area and the CBD,” she said.

Sand will be brought in to temporarily transform part of the Recreation Lagoon into two competition-ready beach volleyball courts, while the rest of the lagoon will remain open for swimming and provide a stunning backdrop for spectators.

The design of the temporary beach volleyball courts integrates with the Darwin Waterfront’s normal maintenance of the beach at the Recreation Lagoon.

“Building two temporary courts at the lagoon will create a natural amphitheatre with spectators able to watch the action – which starts on Wednesday, 1 May – from the grassy parklands,” said Minister Fyles.

“We have an incredible 52 teams competing, and fans will watch them take to the beach in what is expected to be a fiercely contested tournament filled with serves, spikes and sunshine until the nail-biting finals on Saturday, 4 May.”

Darwin beach volleyballer Jake Ross said it would be fantastic to compete in front of friends and family at the Games.

“We’re usually travelling to Brisbane or Adelaide or Perth for competitions and our family’s never usually there so considering that they’re going to be here supporting us, it gives us a bit more motivation to play harder as we have someone to show off to,” he said.

The Darwin Waterfront will also host the free Opening Celebration (Friday, 26 April, 6.30pm) and Closing Celebration (Saturday, 4 May, 6.30pm), and six sports will use the Darwin Convention Centre as their venue.

Arafura Games organisers are working in partnership with Darwin Waterfront Corporation to ensure the success of the temporary build.

General Manager for the Darwin Waterfront Corporation, Sam Burke, said bringing beach volleyball to the Recreation Lagoon is another fantastic element to the Arafura Games 2019 at the Darwin Waterfront.

“Locals, visitors and spectators will be able to enjoy the energy and excitement of beach volleyball from the comfort of the natural amphitheatre around the Lagoon, while enjoying food, drinks, ice-cream and snacks from the multitude of fantastic offerings at the Waterfront.”