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South Lake Leisure Centre becomes home of NI Volleyball

Volleyball Championships
(L-R) Joanna McCrory (Vice President, NI Volleyball); Peter Stewart (NI Senior Men’s Captain); Paul Coleman (ABC Council); Lord Mayor Alderman Margaret Tinsley; Jonathan McFadden (President NI Volleyball); Aimee Oliver (NI Senior Women’s Team); Jack Bailey (NI Senior Men’s Vice Captain)

Northern Ireland Volleyball has agreed a partnership with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council to establish South Lake Leisure Centre (SLLC) as the home of Northern Ireland Volleyball until December 2029!

Most elite sports played in NI have a recognised home venue for international fixtures – Cricket Ireland at Stormont, IFA at Windsor Park and IRFU at Kingspan – whereas NI’s international Volleyball Teams are itinerant, moving from venue to venue.

Northern Ireland Volleyball will use SLLC exclusively as their ‘home’ venue for all NI Men and Women indoor international volleyball matches and for a limited number of headline senior club matches i.e. ‘Finals Weekend’.

The centre will store a GerFloor court installation on-site and staff will also become well versed in hosting these events, enabling players and spectators to enjoy a world-class venue.

Northern Ireland Volleyball is the national governing body and is driven by passion, determination, and an unyielding enthusiasm for the sport. Their mission is to support, promote, and advance Volleyball and its community in a sustainable way.

Jonathan McFadden, President of Northern Ireland Volleyball said: “This partnership is an exciting step forward for Northern Ireland Volleyball, to be able to call South Lake Leisure Centre our international venue moving forward will allow us to establish a much-needed home for our national teams.

“I’d like to thank everyone at ABC Council for their positivity from the outset in our discussions and to Mark Dally who supported myself throughout. We look forward to hosting many major volleyball events at SLLC over the next 5 years and beyond.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Alderman Margaret Tinsley said: “This is an exciting partnership between ABC council and NI Volleyball, which will see South Lake Leisure Centre positioned as a world class volleyball facility. Over the next 5 years, we look forward to welcoming players, coaches and spectators for a range of national and international matches. We also hope this partnership helps to generate more interest in the game on a local level.”

South Lake Leisure Centre hosted the All-Ireland Finals for both boys and girls U16 and U18 school age groups on 14 March, where the top teams from Ireland and Northern Ireland competed to secure the All-Ireland title.

Northern Ireland also competed against Ireland at the St. Patrick’s Challenge over the weekend at Sport Ireland Campus, Dublin where three out of five matches were won by NI National Teams securing the overall championship win for the first time in years. Northern Ireland Volleyball is delighted to announce that next year’s St. Patrick’s Challenge will be held on Saturday, March 15 at South Lake Leisure Centre.

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