Gamble pays off for Bawden and Clancy



Playing in Fort Lauderdale would have been more lucrative, would have given them more experience against top class opposition, but in the end the decision for Australian beach volleyballers Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy was simple.

"We as a team are supported to represent Australia, and to represent the Australian beach volleyball high performance program," Bawden said after successfully defending their Asian beach title in Hong Kong.

"We want to represent our country whenever and wherever we can. And this was a great opportunity."

While Bawden and Clancy were busy seeing off the best teams Asia and Oceania have to offer on the weekend, most of the world's best teams were competing in the season-ending World Tour event in Fort Lauderdale.

And when they beat the well regarded Vanuatu pair of Linline Matauatu and Miller Pata to win gold on Sunday, Bawden knew they’d made the right decision.

Bawden admits the Fort Lauderdale event did have attractions. The prizemoney was good, and the format where you are guaranteed of playing at least four of the best teams in the world were also enticing.

But the event carried no world ranking points, and less than 12 months out from Rio, its ranking points that are important.

The Asian Championships did carry points. It was Bawden and Clancy’s 11th ranking tournament of the year, meaning they only have to play one more before they can start culling their worst results.

Not that they’ve had many this year. It’s been a big 2015, that has propelled the Australians into the world top ten and almost guaranteed their country a place at Copacabana Beach next year.

“I could reel off the top of my head two or three match results this year that went down to the wire and went against us,” Bawden said from Hong Kong.

“Those results could have changed where we are, so it still burns in my chest. We always want more, and you’re only ever as good as your next performance.”

“But at least now we can prioritise next year. We can focus on our game rather than earning points.”

It’s a dream position for the Adelaide-based pair to fins themselves in. Bawden admits that financially she’s in the best position she’s ever been in her professional sporting career, and she can now take some time off before a full-on assault on Rio next year.

And while admitting to being a bit sick of airport lounges and long-haul flights, both she and Clancy will be heading back to Europe at Christmas time for the wedding off their team masseuse.

Bawden will be MC, and chief pie-watcher.

“We can’t ever switch off, certainly not at this stage,” she laughs.

“We have to watch how many mince pies are flying around.”

Australia’s Nicole Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar won bronze in Hong Kong to make it an all-Oceania podium at the Asian Championships.

Women's Indoor - Centre Of Excellence



VA seeks to establish a Centre of Excellence in Women’s Indoor Volleyball to be the home of the National Team (the Volleyroos) and the Centre of Excellence for the development of the most talented female players aspiring to be selected in the Volleyroos. It would be conducted under the same model as the VA Centre of Excellence for Men’s Indoor Volleyball, based at the AIS in Canberra. The Centre of Excellence would be a partnership between VA, the relevant State Volleyball Association, and a third party host/provider.

VA is seeking Expressions of Interest from various organisations and bodies who may be interested in hosting the Centre of Excellence.

More information can be found here.

Volleyball stars of future head to Canberra



Volleyball teams from all over Australasia will converge on Canberra this week for the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships, with Queensland looking to continue its domination of the 26-year-old event.

A total of 43 teams, including from New Zealand, will compete in U17 Challenger and Champions, and U19 Champions divisions.

Teams from Queensland have won the coveted Presidents Cup title in eight of the past nine years.

Victoria broke Queensland’s domination in 2012.

Several former and current Australian Olympians have played at the Australian Championships, and this year’s event is once again expected to unearth stars of the future.

This will be the third year the Championships will be held at the Australian Institute of Sport, the home of the Volleyroos.

Matches start on Monday, September 28, with the finals on Saturday, October 3.

Volleyball Australia is delighted to announce that Australia’s mens indoor Volleyroos will play host to the World League in 2014 and for the first time in the history of the World League will host the Finals for Group 2. In Pool C of Group 2,  the Volleyroos will be joined by Finland, Belgium and Canada to compete in the intercontinental home and away rounds. The Volleyroos will play 3 home round matches versus Finland at the AIS Arena  on the 7and 8 June, Belgium at the Adelaide Arena on the 27 and 28 June, and Canada at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on the 5 and 6 July. The round games will be followed by the final Final four play off which will include Australia as the host nation to be held at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Centre on the 11 and 12 July. The winner of this Finals series will advance to join the top two from each pool in Group 1 in addition to the hosts Italy.

The Volleyroos stunned the world when they took the number one ranking spot in Asia in 2012 to qualify for the London Olympic Games and narrowly missed a quarter final play off after a stellar performance by the youngest team at the Olympics which included beating world powerhouse Poland. This effort raised the ranking of the Volleyroos from 22 to number 11 in the world. In 2013, Australia played host at the AIS Arena to the Asian World Championship Qualifying tournament which the Volleyroos won to see them advance to the 2014 World Championships to be held in Poland in 2014.

Volleyball Australia President, Craig Carracher said, “We cannot underestimate the significance of Australia competing in and hosting the World League rounds and Finals for the Volleyroos quest to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and for the development and growth of the game in Australia. I would like to  thank the FIVB for their support of Volleyball Australia in once again bringing international matches to our shores and I urge all of Australia to get behind the Volleyroos and cheer them on at their home rounds and in the Final four series”.

Volleyroos Head Coach, the dynamic Jon Uriarte has applauded the efforts of Volleyball Australia to provide the Volleyroos this outstanding opportunity to participate in the World League for the first time since 1999 and to be able to compete against world class competition on home soil. Jon said, “I am thrilled for this opportunity for the team. They are a  young team and continually need to be playing high quality international competitors to give them the best chance of qualifying for Rio 2016 which they will now have!”.

 Volleyball Australia has risen to the challenge of meeting the criteria of podium performances  established by the Australian Institute of Sport under its Winning Edge high performance strategy. Judy Flanagan, Volleyball Australia CEO said, ”With the support of the FIVB,we have set have  an ambitious international hosting agenda to continue to place Australia on the global stage in one of the largest global sports as a force to be reckoned with. There is nothing like playing in front of a large, passionate and vocal home crowd so save the dates in Canberra, Adelaide and Sydney and come on down to  support the Volleyroos in their World League endeavours and their 2016 Rio quest”.

The ticket and corporate box sales program will be announced shortly.

For any queries please contact:

Judy Flanagan




FIVB Announcement: Historic World League calendar to culminate in Florence, Italy



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