This week, I’m delighted to have caught up with Mark Myerson from Exmouth Beach Volleyball club. This club spotlight is one that has particular resonance for me, as I have fond memories of playing a few junior tournaments in Exmouth when I was younger, and I was fascinated to find out more about Exmouth beach volleyball, and where it all started. I hope you enjoy it!
Could you introduce your club-where is it, when does it meet, and who does it cater for?
Exmouth Beach Volleyball Club is a friendly club based on the sunny coast of East Devon, where the River Exe meets the sea. We meet through the summer on Tuesday nights, with semi-regular weekend meet-ups. While we don’t have specific beginner or junior sessions at the moment, we cater for anyone who wants to play.
When did the club start, and how has it grown?
Beach volleyball in Exmouth began in 1994 with a 4s tournament organized by the Exeter and District Volleyball Association. At its height, the event played host to over 100 teams spread across 18 courts.
Exmouth Beach Volleyball Club was first established in 1998, and it has been running every summer since 2007 with weekly sessions. At one point, we had local pairs and 4s leagues in addition to annual tournaments.
Some of that came to an abrupt halt when the infamous storm of 2014 — the one that left the railway line hanging over the sea at Dawlish — wiped away a huge amount of sand.
Thankfully, the beach is slowly starting to grow again. Numbers at our Tuesday-night sessions are climbing, and we are hoping to start hosting small tournaments again soon!
What is the best thing about your club?
The community spirit. Everyone knows everyone else, and in normal times we share drinks and food on the beach after playing every week. It’s a social event as much as a volleyball meet.
Who or what is it that makes your club run as well as it does?
Two reasons really: the community spirit as mentioned above, and the help provided by Dave Reece, my predecessor. While I now run the club in a practical sense, Dave has helped me hugely with paperwork and other important details. I’m sure others around the South West will have similar stories to share.
Does the club have any plans for the future?
Very much so. If the sand levels remain healthy, we hope to start running tournaments and coaching clinics (Fireball!). We are also hoping to have permanent nets installed, and maybe even green courts in the long term!
If someone wanted to come and join your club, how can they get in touch and find out more?
Is there anything else you would like to mention?
If you ever fancy having a game with good people, we would love to see you!