Rapids Volleyball

Wainuiomata Rapids Volleyball Inc.

New Zealand Volleyball History

Posted by Rapids Volleyball on Friday, December 28, 2007

“Mr Volleyball”
Vidcap of Ctirad Benacek after being 1st referee for the Men's match between Daito Bunka (Japan) vs Sparta in Auckland.Ctirad Benacek has been said to have introduced volleyball to New Zealand, and being apart of creating the club “Sparta” in 1954 in Panmure, Auckland.
A Czech Republic National Representative who played in the 1948 Olympics in London had come to New Zealand in the early 1950’s & in the New Zealand volleyball circles was nick-named “Mr Volleyball”. Benacek was also mentioned to be one of the best top 3 coaches in the world of Volleyball during the 1970’s & 80’s.

Historical Overview
In 1967 saw the formation of the “New Zealand Federation of Volleyball Clubs”. The sport was about to create its new history throughout the country. The following year, 1968, the first “New Zealand Club Championships” was created.
One of the pioneering clubs in New Zealand was Sparta Volleyball in Auckland. They were founded by a group of immigrants in 1954. Being one, of many of the original clubs, played the Maiden New Zealand Club Championships in 1968, in which the Sparta men’s team won (the team of 1968 comprised of 1 Dutch, 1 Australian, 1 Samoan, 1 Russian, 1 Kiwi & 4 Czechs).
Also that year winning the first ever Women’s New Zealand Volleyball Title (known as Spiders Cup) was Hamilton Teacher’s College. And like Sparta’s men, Hamilton Teacher’s College would win the next two years before relinquishing it’s reign.

In 1969, Wellington Eagles (another pioneer club of NZL Volleyball) donated to the “New Zealand Federation of Volleyball Clubs” a silver cup known as the “Eagles Cup” for the winner of the Men’s National Championships. They flew to the top of New Zealand Volleyball by winning the cup in 1971 and have since appeared in five finals. But as for Sparta’s Men, they would dominate in years to come, tallying the most wins for any men’s club team with 13 National Championships.


First International Contact
Earliest records of International activity for New Zealand, was playing in the Australian National Championships from 1969, 1970, 1971 & 1972. In 1973, the first Oceania Championships were held in Sydney, where New Zealand’s National Teams would compete & later on hold an Oceania Championships in Nelson 1976. New Zealand also played an International match in Adelaide against Australia 1971 & in Sydney 1972.

VNZ National Teams Men’s & Women’s
1971, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007

Please feel free to contribute to this record, or mention any corrections by making a comment.


6 Responses to “New Zealand Volleyball History”

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  5. sharon lauina said

    Hi there. Do you have any old photos of the Sparta volleyball team from 1968 please? I believe that Peter Lavina (Lauina) was the samoan in that team . He is my father.

  6. ruth Thomson said

    Sharon Try Dave McPherson Hamilton City Council – he may be able to help

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