Brierley Hill, United Kingdom (PressExposure) March 09, 2012 -- The land locked South American capital of Brasilia may seem an unlikely host for a 'beach' volleyball tournament, but it will once again provide a starting point for the coming season of the FIVB Swatch Watches Beach Volleyball World Tour.
Given its sun-soaked culture, it is hardly surprising that the country has hosted an event on every tour since the men's circuit began in 1987. Brasilia has hosted for the last four occasions.
This year the tour will also make a call in another city that is located away from the sea, the UK capital of London. The tour will form part of the Olympic Games and a temporary stadium is already set up in Horse Guards Parade for the exciting sport. The sport became popular in the 1920's particularly in towns along the Californian coastline of the USA. It made the leap to a professional sport during the 1980's and made its full Olympic debut in 1996 after being a demonstration sport in the 1992 games in Barcelona.
This season the professional tournament will offer total prize money of $7.3 million. Much of the prizes on offer will be from the Grand Slam events in Beijing, Moscow, Stavanger, Rome, Klagenfurt, Gstadd and Stare Jablonski. Each of these prestigious events offers the winning team $600,000 in prize money.
One new venue joining the Grand Slams of the Swatch Watches backed tour this year is Shanghai. The event has been upgraded this year from a more traditional 'open event' with increased prize money. Berlin also makes a welcome return to the Swatch Watches sponsored Grand Slam tournament. The still to be confirmed event is scheduled to begin on 10th July. The tour has not visited the German capital since 2008.
The tour will this year visit 15 countries over a seven-month period. It will conclude with the women's open in Bang Saen, Thailand.