Beach finals to push case for Gold Coast 2018

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Volleyball Australia is banking on a big crowd turning out for the final day of the Australian Beach Grand Slam at Surfers Paradise to boost its case for late inclusion in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Volleyball Australia President, Craig Carracher, has not given up hope of convincing Games organisers to reverse their decision not to include the sport in 2018.
 
"They raised a couple of concerns with our initial bid, and we believe we have addressed those concerns," Carracher said.
 
"If there was any one sport that highlights Australia and it's culture, it's beach volleyball. And we are confident that will be further underlined by a big turnout for Monday's finals.
 
"We will continue to lobby, continue to make the case. We think it makes a lot of sense, we just need to convince the organisers."

The new beach volleyball pairing of Chris McHugh and Bo Soderberg will start favourites to win the men's event on Monday. 

McHugh teamed up with the veteran Soderberg after regular partner, Isaac Kapa, underwent shoulder surgery.

The new pairing tasted immediate success, winning the opening round of the Grand Slam at Manly Beach in November.

But they’ll face a big challenge just to get past the semi-final, with Melbourne-based Josh Court and Damien Schumann in good form this weekend.

Court and Schumann enjoyed some success on the World tour late last year, and are hoping to challenge for Australia’s 2016 Olympic team.

Another team with an eye on Rio, WA’s Casey Grice and Cole Durant, will take on New Zealand’s Mike Watson and Sam O’Dea.

Watson and O’Dea are the dark horses on the Gold Coast, having won the Oceania Championships at Manly in November.

In the women’s draw, teams are taking advantage of the absence of Australia’s top-ranked pair, Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy.

World under 23 champions Nikki Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar will start slight favourites to take the title.

Olympian Becchara Palmer has been forced to find a new partner for Surfers Paradise, after regular partner Zina Stone was forced through injury to take a break.

26-year-old Palmer, who is hoping to qualify for her second Olympics, has teamed up with Manly Beach’s Katie Bartoli in Queensland, but is on the lookout for a new long-term partner.

Palmer and Bartoli will take on former World junior champion, Alice Rohkamper, and her partner, Sarah Battaglene.

Queensland’s hopes in the women’s draw rest with teenagers Phoebe Bell and Stephanie Weiler.

The men’s final will start at 2pm, with the women set to begin at 3pm.

National Junior Beach Volleyball Development Camp

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On Monday 18 January 39 Girls and 26 Boys aged 13-18 arrived in Brisbane for a National Junior Beach Volleyball development camp.

The athletes and coaches stayed nearby at Griffith University and trained at Nat Cook’s Sandstorm venue.

Vale - Harry Gordon – A great Australian

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Volleyball Australia would like to extend their condolences for the loss of a great Aussie contributor to Olympic Sport.

wcq 2013  0506RGThe Senior National Men’s Volleyball Team consists of the best volleyball players Australia has to offer. The team has a strong history with success at numerous events and championships. The Men’s Volleyball Development Program is an integral component of all national indoor team programs (senior, youth and junior), preparing and developing athletes for international competition.

The Men's Volleyball Program was originally established in 1990 in Sydney. In 1997 both the men's and women's Senior Programs were relocated to the main campus of the AIS in Canberra. As of January 2014, the Men’s Volleyball Program operates directly as a part of Volleyball Australia even though it remains based at the AIS in Canberra. The AIS is still vital to the National Team Program providing key sport science and sports medicine expertise required to compete at the international level.

Through use of the world-class training centre and resources at the AIS training centre, the ranking of the Men’s Indoor Volleyroo’s (formerly known as Volleyball Team Australia Men’s (VTAM) ) has improved significantly since their initial involvement in the early 90’s. After the teams' success in late 2007, winning the Asian Senior Men's Volleyball Championships and coming 8th at the 2007 FIVB World Cup, the team climbed as high as 11th in the world. The team is currently ranked 14th  in the world and will be looking  to improve that ranking through the 2014 season where they will compete in the World League for the first time since 1999, as well as their involvement in the 2014 World Championships.

The Men’s Volleyroos have now qualified for five consecutive World Championships (1998, ’02, ’06, ’10, ’14) and will be sure to figure prominently in this year’s event. 

The majority of the senior members of the Men’s Volleyroos Program have professional contracts in overseas Volleyball leagues and return to Australia for the international competition season from approximately May through to September each year. The remaining athletes within the Men’s Volleyroos Program, are on Volleyball Australia Men’s Indoor Volleyball Scholarships. 

As far as Olympic representation goes, the Men’s Volleyroos team competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics as well as  in the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and the 2012 London Olympic Games. Australia narrowly missed out on a Quarter-Final berth in the 2012 London Olympic Games and finished in a respectable 9th place.

 

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