The biggest amateur sports event in Canadian history set for May 17-22 in Toronto

OTTAWA- The largest single amateur sports competition in Canadian history is set to take place May 17-22, 2012 as Volleyball Canada will host the 2012 Canadian Open Volleyball Championships in Toronto.¸

Over 800 teams will compete in 14 categories with players ranging in age from 12 to 65 years old on 54 courts at the 350,000 square foot Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.  

There will be eight national championships in total (15U/16U/Adults (senior and Masters) Divisions and 14U/17U/18U Divisions) totalling more than 45,000 athletes, coaches, officials, organizers, volunteers and spectators in attendance.

It will take three full days just to set up the venue.

“The 2012 Canadian Open will be the largest volleyball tournament to take place under one roof,’’ said Volleyball Canada’s president Hugh Wong. ‘’Imagine, 10,000 athletes playing volleyball in a single venue.  Because we are not a high-visibility sport, the public and even many of our members do not realize how big our sport has grown. 

‘’This event will showcase the popularity of our sport and give us that visibility.   Every participant will have bragging rights to having been to the first one ever because we don’t know when the next one will be.  I cannot express in words how excited I am about this event.”

Event passes will go on sale shortly. Passes will be available for daily admission, three days admission and full six-day tournament admission.

The project has been in the works since 2008.

“The 2012 Canadian Open started as a dream over a decade ago and to see it finally come to fruition is very exciting,’’ said Mark Eckert, Volleyball Canada’s executive director. ‘’To see our volleyball community come together is what every National Sport Organization strives for. The 2012 Canadian Open is shaping up to be a world-class event and will reset the bar for volleyball in Canada. “

Volleyball Canada is currently accepting applications from volunteers to work at the event.