Sa-Hali secondary athletes banded together two years ago to get the ball rolling on a pair of beach volleyball courts on the southwest side of the school campus.
The legacy project is finished and the inaugural Sa-Hali Beach Blast Women’s 2s Tournament last weekend marked the grand opening of the courts.
“This is them taking ownership of it and not waiting for someone else to provide,” said Wai Ma, a teacher and coach at Sa-Hali who helped oversee the project. “We did this together and it’s been great.”
Students created a proposal for former Sa-Hali principal Sean Lamoureux and the Ministry of Transportation, which owns the land.
Ma, Emily Blower, Jaylyn Askeland, Emily Matthew, Kimberly Howard, Taryn Walter, Tegan Heshka, Marly Carusi, Alysha Muzio, Kennedy Robidoux, Josie Cumming, Sara Lane and Kaya Earl were on the presentation committee.
They received a permit for the project and sponsors came on board to donate time and labour, with Chinook Cove Contracting, Roadman Transport, Extreme Excavating and Dawson Construction among contributors.
Parents, staff and students helped with labour, which began last August and finished in the fall. Students will be in charge of maintenance, which includes weeding and raking the sand to make sure no foreign objects are lying underneath.
Indoor court time is not always easy to come by, especially with a recent surge in the popularity of basketball, said Ma.
The new courts help address that problem and provide more physical-education options at the school, with fitness training and sand soccer among potential activities, as the volleyball nets are removable.
“There is enthusiasm for volleyball and to compete with the other volleyball athletes in the province, who are mostly on the Lower Mainland,” Ma said. “Beach volleyball has become a fast-growing sport which helps complement the indoor game.
“With two versus two, the athletes benefit from getting a lot of contact with the volleyball and you have to be more well-rounded with skills because you do everything.”
The Sa-Hali Beach Blast Women’s 2s Tournament was held at Sa-Hali secondary on Saturday.
Katie House and Emily Blower finished atop Pool A standings, while Caet McCorkell and Sawyer Hawgood topped Pool B.
The teams met in the gold-medal match, with McCorkell and Hawgood earning a straight-sets victory — 21-18, 21-17.
Kamryn Cousins and Emily Matthew knocked off Sydney Schell and Josie Cumming 21-16, 21-18 to win bronze.