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Springbank beach volleyball house looks to grow the sport

A new beach volleyball facility recently opened at the Springbank Park For All Seasons. The courts are located in the park's covered outdoor rink and will remain open throughout the summer. Photo by Nathan Woolridge/Rocky View Publishing

Fans of beach volleyball now have a new spot to play the sport thanks to an addition at the Springbank Park For All Seasons.

According to General Manager John Rop, the park’s board, employees and community members spent the last few years discussing the logistics of bringing beach volleyball courts to Springbank. While the project involved significant time and planning, he said, he is excited about how the addition will help promote wellness and the sport within the region.

“We’re always...[looking to] see what we can do better – how we can provide new services,” he said. “We've got a huge mandate to use our facilities the best that we can.”

Rop said the group eventually landed on the idea of converting the covered outdoor-rink surface into a beach volleyball house. The space was often used in the summer for one-off events, according to Rop, but will now be put to much better use.

“We put some thoughts and visions together to create a concept, instead of just dealing with one-time events in our outdoor rink during the skating off-season.... We've developed a new facility where, three months of the year, we can use our outdoor rink for a new beach volleyball facility,” he said.

More than 700 tons of sand was transported from the United States to provide the surface for the courts, Rop said. He added the sand is top-notch, and will be stored in the facility to be reused in subsequent years. According to Rop, users will need to abide by a number of rules to prolong the usability of the sand, including keeping food, glass, pets and outdoor shoes from inside the beach house.

The goal, he added, is to encourage youth and other residents to stay active by adding another sport to the park. He said he’s hopeful it may spark interest in potential future-Olympic athletes.

“Maybe there are even some individuals right now who play beach volleyball and it'll help them to develop their skills and [they will] go on to play at the university level or at the international level, as well, for Canada,” he said. “So, there's a whole bunch of objectives associated with why we did this.”

Rop said it’s important to continue maintaining and building recreation facilities to keep the community engaged and active.

“We're striving to…provide more services and more utilization of our facilities [to ensure] we really do provide opportunities for youth to play and have fun,” he said.

A schedule for the facility is available online at, and is posted at the park. Rop said free volleyball and drop-in sessions will be available throughout the summer.

“It's a real win-win for our community with helping the greater Calgary region, including Springbank and Cochrane and all of our neighbours,” he said. “It's open to everybody.”

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