An Olympic Beach Volleyball Court is coming to Batesville

One of the goals of the Jubilee Family Church Youth Ministries (JFCYM) is to provide a safe environment for after-school and summer-vacation programs for the youth of Independence County.  These programs are designed to be not only educational, but to also exercise and strengthen the mind and the body.

In keeping with that goal, JFCYM will soon begin construction of an outdoor, beach volleyball court. This court will be built to Olympic specifications, making it, probably, the only one of its kind in the state of Arkansas.

The primary purpose of this court will be to help facilitate a safe, supervised recreation/athletic/play/entertainment area for the youth and citizens of Independence County. In addition, being built to Olympic specifications makes 2 other scenarios possible:

Organized Leagues – Initial efforts are already underway to contact the volleyball    coaches of the local junior high schools, high schools, and colleges to get their input and involvement in organized summer leagues. There are 124 high schools in the state of Arkansas that compete in volleyball. That number does not include junior high or college teams in the state.  Most of the participants in these leagues are girls. While it is not known if there are summer volleyball programs in other parts of the state, it is known that this facility will make summer volleyball programs in Independence County a reality.  Summer leagues could be locally organized or could be affiliated with a national organization such as the United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL).

Sanctioned Tournaments – This facility opens the door for the possibility of hosting U.S. Beach Volleyball Tournaments.  Ali Wood Lamberson, Director of Beach Programs for USA Volleyball, supplied JFCYM with diagrams and instructions on the construction of a beach volleyball court that meets Olympic specifications.  She has expressed a desire to discuss hosting events when the court is operational. This could bring much-needed tourism dollars into the Batesville economy, especially if the events are televised. These tournaments are part of the selection process for the Olympic team every 4 years.

Since Jubilee Family Church is donating the land, the paved parking area, and the utilities, the total cost for this project is only $20,978.00. That includes the construction of the court itself, the equipment, and the bleachers.

Mr. Howard House, of Batesville, kicked off the fund raising campaign with a donation of $1,000.  Contribution letters are being sent to individuals, businesses, and organizations in Independence County this week to raise the remaining funds. If you would like to contribute to this project or to get more information, please contact: Pastor Tony Hammack or Butch Kelley Jubilee Family Church Youth Ministries (870) 793-9124