Last minute pairing triumph on Gold Coast

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A pair of beach volleyballers thrown together at the last minute have won the women's title at the Australian Grand Slam event at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.
 
Adelaide's Becchara Palmer and Manly's Katie Bartoli came together as a pair just three days before the Gold Coast event. Their opening game of the weekend was the first time they'd ever hit together.
 
The pairing was the result of injuries to their regular playing partners.
 
"If we're honest, our first few games were not lovely," Palmer said after she and Bartoli defeated World U23 champions, Nikki Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar in straight sets, 22-20, 21-13.
 
"Maybe as a new pairing we were a bit tentative, a bit nervous and hadn't quite found our mojo. But we got better every match, and our final was definitely our best game."
 
It was Bartoli's first ever tour title, although she finished with two silver medals with regular partner Pip Soulsby last summer.
 
"I was 15 when I first started, I'm 23 now, so I'm pretty pumped," she said.
 
It was also the first Australian title for Palmer since her return to the beach volleyball tour after the London Olympics. Palmer retired after London, but then came out of retirement 12 months later and teamed with another Adelaide player, Zina Stone, with a goal of qualifying for Rio.
 
But those plans have been thrown into turmoil, with Stone forced to take a break from the sport through injury.
 
26-year-old Palmer is now desperately trying to find a new partner who will help her qualify for Rio.
 
In the men's final, New Zealand's Mike Watson and Sam O'Dea followed up their Oceania title from December with a three-set win over Australia's Damien Schumann and Josh Court.
 
Schumann and Court received three red cards during the match, costing them a point each time.
 
Two of those red cards came in the third set, which they lost 15-12.
 
"I think we handled that situation really well," Watson said.
 
"Typically I'm a person who lets the ref get on top of me, so I just tried to keep out of it and focus on my own game.
 
"We're kind of in the mix to qualify for the World Championships, and if we can do that it's a big step towards qualifying for the Olympics, so that's a big focus for us."
 
The final event of the Grand Slam series will be contested at Perth's Scarborough Beach in March.

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.

Carracher

President: 
Craig Carracher

Craig has previously been a director of Volleyball Australia from 1996 to 1999 and was Chief Executive Officer during that period ahead of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. During his time with Volleyball Australia he was also the promoter of the Australian Beach Volleyball Tour from 1999 to 2001 and has been involved with the Northern Beaches Volleyball Association based at Manly Beach since 1990. Craig was a member of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) Development Commission, World Tour Beach Volleyball Commission and was previously the Asian Volleyball Confederation Secretary for Beach Volleyball. 

Craig was appointed President from 1 July 2013 following a career in law and private equity.  Craig was Group General Counsel for Kerry and James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings and a director of numerous of its investee companies and established its Asian private equity business, Arctic Capital in Hong Kong and Beijing.  Craig was Managing Partner of Minter Ellison Lawyers in Thailand and a partner in Australia and advises leading US law firm Seyfarth Shaw as Chair of its Asia Pacific Capital Transactions Group.  Craig currently holds investments and directorships on global mining companies, listed real estate developers, private student accommodation operators, Chinese technology businesses and is Managing Director of Telopea Capital Partners.  Craig was CEO of Volleyball Australia from 1997-1999 ahead of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games a director from 1996.  Craig rejoined the board in 2011 and is now President of Oceania Volleyball, Executive Vice President Asian Volleyball Confederation and a director of FIVB, International Volleyball Federation. 

Craig obtained an LLB with first class honours and the University Medal from Sydney University Law School and a first class honours degree and the University Blue from Magdalen College, Oxford University. 

 

Muller

Vice President:
Phil Muller

Phil Muller has been involved in Volleyball at all levels of the game within Queensland and Australia, more recently as a Board member for Volleyball Queensland and Chair of the Australian Volleyball Schools Event Commission.  Currently Phil is employed by Queensland Department of Education and Training and is the Acting Manager for the DETA Sports Unit and is the Executive Officer of the Queensland School Sport Foundation. Phil was elected to the Board in 2009.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palm

Vice President:
Anita Palm

Anita has extensive experience of multi-sport events through involvement at both event, planning and bidding stages of previous Olympics in Beijing and Sydney and the bid stages of London and Rio. This consultative work has included work on both the Olympics and Paralympics and has been crucial to the department planning, especially in the areas of sport from scheduling, through to entries, sport production, organisational integration and results. She is herself an Olympian. Anita is currently Head of Sport – Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation.

 

 

Tayeh

Finance Director:
Riad Tayeh

A member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia Riad has been the VA Finance Director since 1999. He is a member of both the FIVB Finance Commission and AVC Finance Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Borgeaud

Director:
Malcolm H Borgeaud B Com (with Distinction) FCPA MAICD

Malcolm has over a decade of experience in middle and senior management roles with an international sales and marketing company and twenty years experience in public accounting practice, with 14 as a principal. He brings to the Board a wealth of not-for-profit-governance and financial experience having been involved either at Board level, in tax and accounting advisory or audit roles for numerous not-for-profits, including charities and sporting bodies. He has served as Chairman on State and National Committees for CPA Australia and currently serves on their Environmental, Social and Governance Centre of Excellence providing CPA Australia and its 180,000 members with advice and direction on current environmental, corporate social responsibility and corporate governance issues. He also currently serves on the Boards of a number of not-for-profit organisations. Malcolm loves Volleyball, having played in the U20’s for Australia in the Pac Rim Tournament in 1978. 

 

 

 

Darling

Director:
Anouk Darling

Anouk was most recently chairman of Moon Communications Group, an STW Group company, where she was placed for a decade, first as Strategic Director and then as Chief Executive Officer. With over 15 years’ experience in marketing and brand strategy, she has been central to some of Australia’s largest re-branding projects across a broad range of sectors including energy, finance, retail and airlines. Anouk joined the Macquarie Telecom Board in March 2012 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee and the Corporate Governance, Nomination and Remuneration Committee. She has recently been appointed as a Non-Executive Director of Discovery Holiday Parks, majority owned by superannuation fund Sunsuper, which has more than one million members and $27 billion in funds under management. She has a BA, MBA (major in Marketing), AICD, AIMIA and AIM memberships.

 

 

 

 

Director:
Andrew Scotford

 

 

 

Secretary General (ex oficio):
Mathieu Meriaux - AVF Chief Executive Officer

Mathieu joined VA in March 2013 as the Competitions and Events Manager and was appointed CEO in April 2014. Mat has a strong background in the management of diverse and complex projects and events. Mat was previously General Manager for Triathlon ACT and was an event planner for the London Olympic and Paralympics Games. He holds a degree in Sports Science and is completing a double Masters in Business Administration and Politics.

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