Abold move by Volleyball Australia to increase opportunities for athletes to represent their state will have ramifications for volleyball groups across Australia in years to come.
Volleyball Horsham will have a frontrow seat in this development.
Volleyball Australia has introduced an under-14 age group to National Junior Championships this year, while the opportunities for senior athletes will open up next year with the re-introduction of under-21 and under-23 national championships.
This is a wonderful opportunity for volleyball and gives participants who wish to take their volleyball to the next level a clearly defined pathway for a 10-year lifespan.
With the establishment of a regional affiliates development officer in Tim Popple, this is where people connected to the position will have that front-row seat.
Popple’s job includes assisting with the development of coaches within associations and working with schools to provide students with volleyball opportunities through Sporting Schools and Spikezone programs.
What we are seeing now are more primary-school opportunities for students from a zone, regional and state perspective.
As an example, Holy Trinity Lutheran
College in Horsham sent six teams to the State Primary Schools Cup last year, following Horsham Primary School’s success two years prior.
This translated into more Lutheran and 298 school students participating in Volleyball Horsham competitions.
Now, with the introduction of under-14 state teams, an opportunity has opened for primary-school-aged children to get involved in the pathway program, which is a huge win for the sport.
At the top end with the under-21 and under-23 programs, coupled with an under-19 program and the possibility this championship will be in July, an opportunity to represent the state for year-12 athletes becomes more appealing compared with the late September time slot it is now.
All these opportunities only become reality with the competitions offered by associations and Volleyball Horsham is ahead of most in the state with its junior program.
Volleyball Horsham, in partnership with Popple and the schools, is in a prime position to provide these opportunities into the future.
There is still time for individuals or teams to enter Volleyball Horsham’s winter competitions, which start next Monday for C Grade, women and juniors and July 31 for A and B grades.
Individuals or teams wishing to enter into any of the competitions should message [email protected]leyballhorsham.com.au.