Goshen News, Goshen, IN

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August 3, 2013

First Fridays: Two-day festival kicks off with a sand volleyball tourney

GOSHEN — It was just another night in Goshen.

The Rubber Chickens were competing against the Redskins while the Strawberry Fields played against the One Hit Wonders Friday evening.

Those were some of the sand volleyball teams participating in the Sand Blast Tournament during the Downtown Goshen SandBlast Festival during First Fridays.

The two-day double elimination volleyball tournament will take place on two sand courts in the 200 and 300 blocks of S. Main Street.

It took 277 tons of sand to pull the event off according to Gina Leichty, director of Downtown Goshen Inc.

Leichty also said the event was cancelled for about 15 minutes until the skies cleared early Friday afternoon

There will be competitive level 4-on-4 and recreational level 6-on-6 co-ed tournaments. Brooke Miller and Natalie Evans, juniors at Goshen High School and members of the GHS volleyball team, were waiting to play with the Anytime Fitness 2/Tina Adams team.

“I don’t care about playing in the sand,” said Miller. “I want to get dirty, to get all sandy. It’ll be fun. Of course we’ll win. We used to play (sand volleyball). GHS had a sand volleyball team and played at Pringle Park.”

Evans voiced similar sentiments.

“I’m excited to play,” he said. “It looks like fun.”

She described the difference between playing on sand versus a gym floor.

“It’s so much harder to move in sand,” Evans said. “It’s more fun to dive in the sand rather than on the court.”

In the 200 block of S. Main Street, Constant Spring had a crowd looking out their front window, watching the games.

Diane and Pat DeFreese of Goshen sat on a window ledge of a business across the street and watched as the players became caked in sand.

“I think we’re going to enjoy it,” Diane said. “It’s a neat idea. We like First Fridays and followed (the events) online when we were out of town. I couldn’t wait to get home and watch. We look forward to it every month.”

Her husband said he enjoyed playing volleyball — in his younger days.

“I like volleyball but I’m a little too old to play,” Pat said, laughing. “But one is never to old to watch.”

There were 16 teams registered for the volleyball tournament.

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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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