State path­way

The Weekly Advertiser Horsham - - Sport - BY DAVID BERRY

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]­ley­ball­hor­

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