Volleyballers from around Australia braved the hot and humid conditions at the Freezone Mardi Gras Tournament last month.

Eleven teams, including teams from Melbourne and Canberra, played at the Indoor Sports Halls at Olympic Park, as part of Sydney’s annual gay and lesbian festivities.

Freezone president and referee Wally Salinger said hot playing conditions for players were testing, however, a good day was had by all.

“The inability to get any air flow in the extremely humid conditions made the event the most difficult the teams have played in,” Salinger said.

“The heat was of such concern to organisers that drink time-outs were added in the B Division final.”
Several players in the A Division reportedly suffered leg cramps during the day due to the tough conditions.

Sydney team Kaiata Men did well to win several close matches during the day, taking home bronze medals.

The Division A final was a Sydney-dominated affair with La iTeam the eventual victors over team Chilli Cha Cha. In the B Division Melbourne Spikers team, the Gumnuts, took home a gold, beating Canberra’s Horn-Ets.

Salinger said interstate teams had shown good form during the tournament, giving their Sydney rivals a run for their money.

Most valuable player awards were given to Chilli Cha Cha’s Gree for his consistency and skill in the A Division, while Canberra’s Wil Hee was awarded the B Division accolade.

Tournament director Amit Lie said he was pleased with the event and particularly the interstate participation and thanked the event’s sponsors.

“We understand the financial pressure members are feeling at present, and may not have been able to conduct the longest running event on the gay community’s calendar if it were not for the support of our sponsors, ACON and SSO [Media],” Lie said.

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