Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour - Quebec City, July 2011

Quebec, March 23rd 2011 – Quebec City plays host to its first ever world tour beach volleyball event called the Quebec Open Jeep presented by Videotron. This competition of great importance will bring together the world’s best men and women athletes of beach volleyball. This event will be held on the fields of l’Externat St-Jean Berchmans and Séminaire des Pères Maristes of Quebec in the borough of Sillery, from July 19th to July 24th 2011.

Beach volleyball, an olympic sport since the Atlanta Games of 1996, gathers unbelievable crowds around the world. The Fédération Internationale de volleyball de plage (FIVB) only allows 16 events per season to take place. The city of Quebec has been chosen to be a part of this select group. The tournament in Quebec is considered to be one of a kind in North America. “The city of Quebec is honoured to have the opportunity to host this grand international event. I would like to thank the authorities of the city of Quebec, our governments as well as our two main sponsors, Jeep and Videotron without whom the presentation of this event would not be made possible. I believe that this is an event which will greatly appeal to the people of the city of Quebec and attract people from across the Province,” said the President of the tournament, Mr. Claude Rousseau.

The Quebec Open Jeep presented by Videotron will serve as qualifications for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Athletes around the world will not only want to win the tournament, but also accumulate as many points as possible towards Olympic qualifying. This stage of the World Tour, broadcasted by VOX, one of Videotron’s Television Networks, is a crucial one for both women and men canadian athletes. They will benefit from great visibility as well as being able to count on the support from their local fans. Furthermore, four Canadians teams (two women’s and two men’s) may be guaranteed a place in the Main Draw which could greatly improve their world rankings.

“The FIVB is extremely proud that the 23rd edition of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour will feature Quebec for the first time,” FIVB President Mr Jizhong Wei said. “The announcement of Quebec as a host city reflects the exceptional growth and popularity of the World Tour as it extends its reach to all corners of the globe. With Olympic qualifying points on offer and Quebec providing a key step on the journey to the Olympic Games, all participants and fans will enjoy an outstanding spectacle featuring the best international beach volleyball product in the world.”

“I’m really happy that the Swatch World Tour is hosting an event in Quebec. A home event is meaningful for the Canadian athletes participating in it. I can’t wait for July, to live an event like this,” said Annie Martin, who is working hard to earn a place at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Marie-Andrée Lessard, who completes a duo with Annie Martin shares the same opinion as her teammate: “It’s rare that we have a chance to play in front of our family and friends. It will be an advantage to be able to count on the hometown crowd. The atmosphere will be extraordinary, and I am convinced that all the players on the tour will live a wonderful experience and will want to come back year after year.”

"Having an FIVB event on home soil will be a crucial part of the Olympic qualification process,’’ said Chaim Schalk of Red Deer, Alta., last year’s Canadian champion with partner Martin Reader of Comox, B.C. ‘’To play in front of our home fans will be huge for us.  We can't wait to represent our country in Quebec City."

Reader says the sport needs to have a major international event in Canada in order to develop and promote the sport.

‘’It is integral for Canada's development in beach volleyball to host an international competition,’’ said Reader.  ‘’Not only does it assist our nation's athletes in improving their world ranking; it will catalyze the growth of our sport and offer invaluable marketing opportunities. With Quebec City hosting an FIVB event athletes will have an opportunity to inspire, entertain and prove why beach volleyball is the most popular sport at the Olympic Games.’’

Tickets for sale
Tickets of the Quebec Jeep Open presented by Videotron are on sale. There will be three packages available: A pass for all sessions (7) of the event selling for 50 dollars. A package for reserved seating for all sessions as well, selling for 150 dollars, and VIP tables including food and beverages selling for 5,000 dollars. For more information and details please call 418.656.3668 or visit our website www.quebecopenjeep.com.