By Tom Degun

Horse_Guards_Parade_Dec_16December 16 - The London 2012 Olympic Games test event for beach volleyball has been confirmed by the Federation of International Volleyball (FIVB) and will take place at the iconic Horse Guard's Parade from August 9-14, 2011.

Horse Guard's Parade, situated in the heart of Westminster and built in 1745 to house Buckingham Palace's personal guards, is the venue for the sport during London 2012 and will feature a temporary arena capable of hosting 15,000 spectators.

Huge quantities of sand are to be brought in to create London's very own beach.

The test event will be only for women and will replicate the exact formula to be used at the 2012 Olympics.

Kenny Barton, performance programme manager for British Volleyball, told insidethegames: "It is fantastic to be having this test event next year to give a flavour of what it will be like having beach volleyball at such an iconic location in 2012.

"The girls travel all over the world so to have this competition confirmed on the calendar in London in August will be fantastic.

"It will be a huge boost for the girls to experience the actual London 2012 venue as they step up their preparations for the Olympics.

"It really will be the icing on the cake in what is a hectic season and it is really important to have the home crowd out there and supporting us.

"If we can get a big, vocal crowd there at the Horse Guard's Parade making a lot of noise and getting involved, I really think that can help push us to another level.

"Right in the centre of London, it will be one of the most accessible venues in 2012 and I am sure it will be the place to be."

The historic landmark, which takes its name from the soldiers who have provided protection for the monarch since 1660, is situated just a stone's throw from the Prime Minister's official residence in Downing Street.

A FIBA statement added: "The FIVB is pleased to announce the confirmation of the FIVB Beach Volleyball Swatch World Tour calendar for 2011 with a total of 14 men's and 16 women's events across 13 countries.

"The 2011 schedule, which also includes an Olympic Games test event for women from August 9-14, replicating the Olympic formula in Horse Guard's Parade, will feature a total of ten Opens, of which six are double gender."

Meanwhile Olympic volleyball will be hosted not far away from the beach volleyball at Earls Court.

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