A volley of changes

CLAY WILSON
Last updated 12:13 31/01/2013

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The Marlborough Volleyball Club is hoping to revitalise senior playing numbers after last week announcing changes to the format of its Thursday night senior league.

For the past few seasons, the league has run all year, with four separate competitions staged over eight to nine weeks at a time.

However, player numbers have been gradually declining, prompting the MVC committee to find a solution to retain players and boost overall player numbers.

A passionate group of about 12, the MVC committee decided, would redesign the format of the league. It will now be played over two 14-week long seasons, with the summer league set to kick off on February 14 at Marlborough Lines Stadium. Following a three-week break at the end of the summer league, the winter league will start on June 20, the Thursday night games finishing for the year on September 26.

The new format means the senior teams will not only be required to commit to fewer matches throughout the year, they will also be paying less.

One of the driving forces behind the change, MVC patron Roy Titheridge said they had no choice but to make adjustments if they expected the Thursday league to remain sustainable.

"It is about providing a sustainable competition and not sticking our heads in the sand, doing the same old thing and hoping, for whatever reason, that playing numbers and indeed the economy is going to miraculously turn around.

"It's about the volleyball community. Social players, years 5 to 8, college age and female players, who don't have a competition of their own, and men and the exceptional athletes who go from our college teams into national and international representative teams."

The current MVC junior game development officer, Nicky Bain, will take over as senior league co-ordinator from husband and wife duo of Grant and Kerrie Riki.

MVC administration officer Alvyn Meiklejohn said the club was excited about Bain taking on the co-ordinator's role, but also wanted to thank the Rikis for the "sterling job" they had done over the past six years.

All social and business house teams are invited to register for the new Fairweathers Senior Summer League and can do so by contacting Nicky on 572 9488, 022 120 0573, or mark.nicky@sling shot.co.nz, or Alvyn on 578 1264, 021 141 7583 or alvyn@marlboroughvolleyball.org.nz. A minimum of six players are required per team, with costs being $384 for an adult team and $348 for a student team. Registrations close Friday, February 8.

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- The Marlborough Express

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