Volleyball is aiming for a golden future in the Bay of Plenty after regional teams celebrated success at the recent NZ Inter-provincial Championship in Auckland.
The women's under-17 Bay of Plenty side, which included Western Heights High School student Jodi Stevens, won gold after defeating North Harbour 3-1 in the final at the Trust Arena - winning all of their games throughout the three-day tournament this week.
The regional men's under-19 side took home the gold after beating North Harbour 3-2 in a thriller with Western Heights High School students Daniel Michael, Saxon Trow, Billy Johnstone, Max Hale and John Newman all part of the team.
The administrator for Volleyball Bay of Plenty, Haydon Wright, was delighted with the results and said he hoped it would give the sport a "real boost" in the area.
"All of our sides put in fantastic performances but to take home those two golds was the icing on the cake," he said.
"It's right up there with the best achievements for Volleyball Bay of Plenty and I hope this gives a real boost to the sport.
"We are especially looking at the under-17 level. We want to carry this success through and keep the squad together."
They also had further success with the under-17 men winning silver after being beaten 3-0 against an impressive North Harbour.
And the under-19 women's team beat Waikato 3-0 in 3rd/4th playoff for the bronze medal.
Wright is now looking ahead to the Bay Junior Secondary School Championships next month, where up to 50 school teams (of Year 9 and 10 students) from the Bay of Plenty area will battle it out for the 2016 male and female titles.
The tournament, at ASB Arena, Tauranga, will start on October 29 - played over three weekends with the finals day on Sunday, November 13.
Western Heights High School will be looking to defend the junior boys title and Whakatane's Trident High School are the junior girls 2015 defending champions.
"I expect to see a fantastic quality of volleyball," said Wright.
"It will be highly competitive and brilliant to watch. We are always looking to increase volleyball across the region and this is an excellent showpiece event to inspire people."
NZ Inter-provincial Championship
The Trust Arena, Henderson, Auckland
September 25th-27th 2016
Bay of Plenty results:
U17 women (1st - Defeated north harbour 3-1 in final)
U17 men (Result - 2nd - Lost to North Harbour 3-0 (sets) in the final)
U19 women (3rd - Defeated Waikato 3-0 in 3rd/4th playoff)
U19 men (1st - Defeated North Harbour 3-2 in the final)
VBOP award for MVPs
Under-17 women: Emma Mabbott
Under-17 men: Tyran Gilespie
Under-19 women: Rosie Sussex
Under-19 men: Daniel Kilpatrick
Under-17 women: Allen Satiu
Under-17 men: 'Nic Christie
Under-19 women's - Stewart Henderson
Under-19 men - Josh Fitzgibbon