Beach Volleyball: Ghana’s next football?
The last four Olympic Games tickets for beach volleyball have been sold out because the sport is among the top five most-watched at the Olympics.
Beach volleyball is a team sport played by two teams of two or more players on a sand court divided by a net. Similar to indoor volleyball, the objective of the game is to send the ball over the net and ground it on the opponent's side of the court.
It is played in sand, which gives it a low-impact surface, so it is easy on your joints; making it fun for all generations, without risking injury.
Top professional beach volleyball players can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 or more per year in prize money.
Beach volleyball in Ghana
Ghana’s women's beach volleyball team debuted at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The duo of Juliana Aryee and Rashaka Katadat lost all their three matches against their counterparts from Kenya, New Zealand and Canada.
That was the only major international competition that Ghana featured in.
This result showed that we have a lot more investments to do in sports in the form of talent acquisition and development.
Beach volleyball struggles to secure financial support and infrastructure. Nonetheless, it has the potential to contribute to the Ghanaian economy in several ways, including employing many youths.
How beach volleyball can help the economy and employ the youth?
1. Government Support: The government should provide financial support to develop beach volleyball infrastructure, establish training centres and run promotional campaigns. Tax incentives can be offered to corporate sponsors to encourage their investment in the sport.
2. Private Sector Engagement: The Ministry for Youth and Sports must encourage private companies to invest in beach volleyball by offering sponsorship opportunities and providing incentives such as tax breaks or marketing benefits.
3. International Collaboration: Collaborating with international organisations and federations can help secure funding, expertise and exposure for beach volleyball in Ghana.
4. Public Awareness and Education: The National Sports Authority (NSA), under whose purview beach volleyball falls, must conduct awareness campaigns to promote beach volleyball as a viable sporting discipline and engage the public in the sport.
How Beach Volleyball can benefit the Country
1. Tourism Boost: Beach volleyball tournaments attract both local and international tourists. Such competitions can bring in visitors from other countries, generating revenue from travel, accommodation and local businesses.
2. Job Creation: Developing beach volleyball as a sport requires the establishment of training centres, coaching staff and administrative roles. These investments would create job opportunities for Ghanaians in sports management, coaching and event organisation.
3. Sponsorship and Advertising Opportunities: As beach volleyball gains popularity in the country, it could attract corporate sponsors and advertisers, which would create mutually beneficial partnerships, providing funding for the sport while offering sponsors a platform to promote their products or services.
4. Infrastructure Development: Investing in beach volleyball would require the construction or renovation of facilities that meet international standards. This infrastructure development would benefit not only the sport itself but also other beach-related activities such as beach resorts, recreational centres and vendors.
Overall, while currently underfunded, beach volleyball has the potential to contribute significantly to the Ghanaian economy through tourism, job creation, sponsorships, infrastructure and youth development.
With the necessary support and investments from the government, private sector and international collaboration, beach volleyball can emerge as a valuable sporting discipline that benefits both the economy and the society as a whole.