There was a break in a fine tradition, due to Covid. We missed the Beach Volleyball competition for a couple of years. Last year the event returned, organised by Business Cootamundra. Then, Business Cootamundra ceased to operate and there was the possibility of the Beach Volleyball missing again. Simon Sutherland explained to the Cootamundra Times that all is well, Beach Volleyball is here to stay.
Simon has been involved in the staging of the Beach Volleyball from the beginning in 2001. Initially, the committee of volunteers were a 355 Committee of Council. This arrangement ensured the necessary funding and assistance to ensure a successful event.
Simon was the organising focus and, with his volunteers, the planning and efficient running of an
ever-expanding operation was his responsibility. With Covid and the break in tradition, there was a change.
The organising committee was no longer a 355 committee of Council. Simon was still involved but the sponsoring body was now Business Cootamundra. The new arrangement was successful last year. However, Simon was aware that details and structure of organisation were still dependent on his involvement. There had to be a change.
When Business Cootamundra ceased operation this year, there was a possibility that the Beach Volleyball would also not occur. The Council called for Expressions of Interest to take over the running of the event.
Simon was also aware there was an opportunity with another arrangement for a detailed manual, operating instructions, to be compiled. This manual was essential for ensuring continuity. A sponsoring body was also needed.
It was here that Adina Care stepped in and offered to take over the administration of the event.
Graeme Sloane, the CEO of Adina Care, explained the reason for their committing to the Beach Volleyball. There is a serious shortage of staff in the Aged Care area. This is a service that requires young, fit people. In rural areas, such as Cootamundra, the staff need to be living in town. Attracting quality staff, encouraging them to move and make a life in a vibrant community is the challenge.
Since its beginning in 2001, the town has seen the growth of this Summer event. Everyone has benefitted from the influx of visitors, the fun and excitement, the opportunities for ‘accessible exercise’ (‘anyone can play volleyball’) and putting Cootamundra on the map.
This is a community event, inspired by locals, benefitting from volunteers, supported by Council and with potential to keep growing.
Beach Volleyball is extraordinary. The town is indebted to the likes of Simon and his generous volunteers, to the Council for their support and now to Adina Care. This is something we can all be proud of and look forward to more years of fun and excitement.