The Merritt Volleyball Association has officially announced that this year’s two Volleyfest tournaments in April will be dedicated to supporting the fight against breast cancer.

“The theme of both the mixed tournament (Apr. 12-14) and the ladies tournament (Apr. 26-28) will be Think Pink!” stated MVA representative Dave Finch. “All proceeds from the sale of our tournament T-shirts will be sent to the B.C. and Yukon chapter of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.

“In the past, we have lined up local sponsors for our tournament shirts and they have been given out free to all participants,” Finch explained. “This year, we wanted to give back in some way to the greater community and chose to support the ongoing battle to eliminate breast cancer.”

Finch said that the special T-shirts are not only available to registered Volleyfest participants but to the general public, too.

“Anyone in the community is welcome to purchase one and show their support for the Breast Cancer Foundation. The T-shirts are $20 each, and can be ordered from either myself (378-5464) or Angela Russell (378-2154). The shirts even have a spot on the back of them where individuals can print the name of someone they are playing for at the tournament or supporting in general.”

The sale of the T-shirts to the general public will continue until the end of March.

Volleyfest has been an annual event in Merritt for over 20 years, and attracts upwards of 40 teams (300-400 players) from throughout the province of B.C. to each of its two three-day events.

“We have teams from all over come back year after year,” Finch said. “They just love the volleyball, and the socializing.”

The Nicola Valley is always well-represented at Volleyfest – with teams from the local association’s Tuesday night leagues, as well as teams specially put together for the tournaments.

“We have many ex-Merrittonians who use Volleyfest as an excuse to come back to the community to see family and friends, and enjoy some volleyball at the same time,” Finch said.

Teams at each of the Volleyfest tournaments can choose to play in any one of three divisions: competitive 1, competitive 2 and recreational.

“Our registration is filling up fast,” Finch said, “so interested teams should sign up as soon as possible by going to the Merritt Volleyball Association website.”