Cootamundra's beach in the bush

TAKING A BREAK Cootamundra Shire Council workers Aiden Maxwell and Bevan Collins with Steve Lowe, Michael Collins and Graeme McCallum get started putting the sand in place on Wednesday. Picture: Jennette Lees

TAKING A BREAK Cootamundra Shire Council workers Aiden Maxwell and Bevan Collins with Steve Lowe, Michael Collins and Graeme McCallum get started putting the sand in place on Wednesday. Picture: Jennette Lees

Cootamundra is counting down to the biggest Coota Beach Volleyball Carnival in the event’s 16 year history. 

A total of 125 teams will take to the town’s own beach on the beach on Saturday ready for a fun-filled weekend. 

The Coota Beach committee has managed to allow the extra teams by creating a second permanent volleyball court adjacent to the existing court near the pool, bringing the total number of courts to be in use this year to eight. 

By adding the extra court, hours on the sand remain the same with the first ball to be served at 8am and the day’s play drawing to a close at 5.46pm. 

Committee member Julisia Cross said they were keen to expand the number of teams which could play if they could due to the overwhelming response from teams wishing to enter.

Like previous years the carnival filled on the first day nominations were received. 

A waiting list is generally established but this year the committee decided bigger is better and they would introduce the second permanent court. 

Last year 112 teams played in the carnival. 

Of the teams playing, about 25 are made up of mainly visitors to Cootamundra.

Accommodation is booked solid across the town and local pubs and clubs are expected to be busy.

The concept of Coota Beach is simple – 650 tonnes of river sand is transported to Murray Street transforming the ordinary street into six temporary courts. 

Teams will play three games each on the Saturday with finals to take place on Sunday. 

Finals will start at about 12noon on Sunday for the lower grades with the A grade finalists to take the court about 3pm.

Teams are reminded that all players must register on Saturday morning before they can take to the court. 

Players should arrive for registration about half an hour prior to the start of their first game. 

This year, Murray Street between the rear Woolworths carpark and Bourke Street was cordoned off on Wednesday as the sand started arrived. 

The hive of activity preparing the precinct will continue until Friday afternoon.

There will be plenty to eat across the weekend with catering from Hazel Fallon, the Olympic Hotel with a barbecue, a coffee station and ice cream truck. 

People are reminded they will not be allowed into the precinct with large volumes of alcohol, including full trolleys, as the committee works towards maintaining their highly-regarded family-friendly atmosphere. 

These people will be turned away by security.