Pro beach party coming to downtown Halifax for SandJam event

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Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax

Workers level off 300 tonnes of sand in a parking lot near Salter and Lower Water Streets in Halifax on Wednesday. The sand will be the main courts for the SandJam beach volleyball tournament, which starts Thursday night.

Some of the best beach volleyball players in the world will play under the lights starting Thursday on the Halifax waterfront, in a tournament you “need to experience,” says it organizer.

Starting Thursday at 6 p.m. and running through Sunday, the professional men and women’s Canadian teams will take on players from Germany, the United States and England in the first-ever Canada Cup.

“It’s exciting and a change,” said Derek Martin, president of Sports and Entertainment Atlantic.

“Fans will get to know the teams because they’ll see them playing in kind of every session.”

For the past couple of years, the SandJam tournament has featured junior athletes so Martin said he’s excited to see professionals in action who make their living on the courts.

“The fact they’re able to move as quickly and jump as high as they do on … a surface that’s moving under their feet is really amazing,” Martin said.

“It’s very much an event that you need to experience.”

For the first time, 55-minute games will be played in the evening, which lets more people see volleyball under the lights.

“Watching it on TV doesn’t really do justice to the atmosphere that’s in the stadium,” Martin said.

There aren’t any Nova Scotians on either the Canadian men or women’s teams since the squad is based in Toronto, but Martin said there’s lots of time to get to know the players.

“Team Canada will be playing in every session so there’s always a chance to cheer on the maple leaf,” he said, adding there are four games per session.

After the Cup finals on Sunday, everyone is invited to a dance party on the sand featuring local DJ’s.

“That’s our chance to end it all off with a bang,” Martin said.

General admission tickets run $10 to $20 per session and a tournament pass is $75. Visit sandjam.etixnow.com for complete details.

Geographic location: Halifax, Canada, Germany United States England Toronto

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