FORMER Olympian David McKienzie returns to the country to serve as main instructor in the Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Clinic set on Wednesday and Sunday at The Sands at the SM By the Bay in Pasay City.
McKienzie, a one-time Manila visitor who starred for the powerful United States volleyball squad in the 2012 London Olympics, will be assisted by Lindsay Stalzer, the comely American who reinforced Cignal in the PSL Grand Prix last year.
"On Sands With David McKienzie" is being held being held in cooperation with the Singapore-based American Volleyball Academy and sponsored by Accel. Registration starts at 4 p.m., with a fee of P3,000 per team or P1,500 per individual.
Super Liga is holding its first beach volleyball tournament in June.
The last time the Philippines competed in a major beach volleyball tourna ment was in the 23rd Southeast Asian Games where the tandem of Filipino-Americans Heidi Ilustre and Dianne Pascua took home the bronze medal in the women's division. Parley Tupaz and Rhovyl Verayo played in the men's side.
"This endeavor is our attempt to improve the level of competition of beach volleyball in the country," said PSL president Ramon "Tats" Suzara, who also serves as chairman of the marketing and development committee of the Asian Volleyball Confederation.
SM Assistant Mall Manager Jon Gomez said they are already putting finishing touches on the courts to match international standards.
"We are very happy to partner with PSL," Gomez said. "We wanted to support PSL because we believe that we can be of international caliber in the near future. At this point, we are discussing everything with PSL because there are some things that need to be done in order to have a beach volleyball courts that adhere to the international standards.
Organizers are also putting up two practice courts, shower rooms, dugouts for players and game officials as they also plan to host major beach volleyball tournaments. The courts are expected to be fully operational by June.
"We are already putting up the required structures," he said. "We're doing our best to finish everything in one-and-a-half month's time, or just in time before the PSL's first major open tournament