Bawden and Clancy dare to dream of Copacabana

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BAWDEN AND CLANCY DARE TO DREAM OF COPACABANA BEACH

There was a pause at the other end of the phone, followed by a sigh, and then mock exasperation.

“It sat on the damn tape, and if that tape hadn’t been so new it would have gone over!”

It was Australian beach volleyballer and two-time Olympian, Louise Bawden, reliving the heartbreaking serve she had on match point at this year’s World Championships that could have put her and Taliqua  Clancy into the semi-finals.

“We knew that we could have won that match, and for me that was definitely the part that stung the most,” 34-year-old Bawden said this week.

“I had the serve on match point, and I won’t forget that. It sat on the damn tape, and if the tape hadn’t been so new that ball would have gone over!”

“It was ridiculously tight,” Clancy chimes in.

The Australians went on to lose the match, against Brazil’s Lima and Fernanda, 21-15, 16-21, 16-18. The Brazilians went on to win the silver medal, while Bawden and Clancy had to settle for fifth.

TEAM PROGRESS

But it says a lot about the progress of Bawden and Clancy that they were disappointed with the result.

They only came together after the London Olympics, and had reasonable but not outstanding 2013 and 2014 international seasons.

I’m speaking to Bawden while she waits at Los Angeles Airport to fly back to Europe for this week’s Olsztyn Grand Slam.

Her and Clancy have just finished fourth at the Long Beach Grand Slam in California, their second top four result for the year.

But Bawden is disappointed.

“We had to cop a fourth, but we’re definitely pleased to make the final four,” she said.

“The aim is always to win that round three match and get into the pointy end of the competition. But we didn’t quite capitalise this week, so that was a bit of a shame.

“It’s not particularly pleasant to go through two losses and feel like we haven’t performed the way we would have liked to.”

Bawden agrees that 12 months ago she would have been stoked with a top four finish, and that it’s a good sign that she’s now down on herself.

“Yes, you don’t want to get too down about a fourth, and feel like we’ve failed,” she said.

“But our plans on the domestic tour revolve around the expectation we will be playing on the final day, and we want to build the same sort of mindset on the World Tour.

“The lifting of expectations can’t become a measuring stick for the measuring of the experience. It’s part of the evolution of the team.”

OLYMPIC QUALIFICATION

That evolution has propelled Bawden and Clancy into a top five ranking in the race for Olympic berths next year. The top 15, as of June 2016, will earn their country starting gigs in Rio.

Put simply, things would have to go very, very bad for Bawden and Clancy to fail to qualify from here.

But Louise Bawden is one of the world’s most focused athletes, driven and with a steely resolve to succeed.

She can’t deny the healthy position she and 23-year-old Clancy find themselves in, but you have to push her to acknowledge life as an aspiring Rio Olympian is pretty good.

“It’s exciting,” she said.

“It puts us in a position where we are actually taking steps towards the ultimate dream, where we are putting ourselves in a position where we are testing ourselves against the best teams in the world.

“We can now start to focus on positively influencing our potential Olympic seeding.”

And even though she would prefer not to, preparing for next year’s Olympics is going to require replaying her experience at the World Championships, and that shattering failed serve.

“The World Championships was an opportunity to go through an experience most similar to the Olympic Games,” she said.

“The format, the experience, the way everything is run. It was like our Olympics for this year, it was important for more than just our team, but also for Volleyball Australia. So there was a reasonable amount riding on it.

“Losing that quarter final, it wasn’t the only thing, but it’s the sort of thing that sticks in our brain.”

Another top four finish for Bawden and Clancy

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ANOTHER TOP FOUR FINISH FOR BAWDEN AND CLANCY ON WORLD TOUR

Australia’s top female beach volleyball combination, Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy, continue to impress with another top four finish at a World Tour event.

Bawden and Clancy will battle for bronze early Monday morning at the Long Beach Grand Slam in California.

The Australians are currently sitting fifth on the Olympic qualification table, with the top 15 as at June next year automatically qualifying for Rio.

Bawden and Clancy came together after the 2012 London Olympics, and after solid but unspectacular 2013 and 2014 seasons, have become one of the world’s most consistent teams this year.

They finished fifth at this year’s World Championships, losing to the eventual silver medalists.

Their best performance this year was a bronze medal at the Porec Grand Slam, but they have had an additional four top five finishes before this weekend.

Bawden and Clancy will take on Germany’s Laura Ludwig and Kira Walkenhorst for the bronze in California early Monday morning.

Women's Grand Prix added to bumper June 2016 calendar

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WOMEN’S GRAND PRIX HEADING DOWN UNDER AGAIN

Australia will host the opening leg of the women’s volleyball World Grand Prix next year, with former world powerhouses Cuba confirmed as one of the teams who will be heading Down Under.

The announcement by volleyball’s world governing body, the FIVB, brings to three the number of major international volleyball events Australia will host in June 2016.

Australia will host the opening weekend of the group three Grand Prix competition, with Cuba, Colombia and Croatia making up the round robin quartet.

The following weekend Australia will take on Mexico, Kazakhstan and Colombia again, in Mexico, before the group three finals.

Earlier this week it was announced Australia would also be hosting in June the opening round of the men’s group one World League, with current World League champions, France, and Olympic bronze medalists, Italy, taking part.

And in late June an Australian beach will host the Asian qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

2016 will be Australia’s third year in the World Grand Prix, with the team still chasing their first victory.

Last month Canberra hosted the 2015 group three final, the first time the Australian women’s volleyball team had played in Australia since the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Volleyball Australia will seek expressions of interest from Australian cities interested in hosting any of the three major events next year.

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.

 

 

  

Tracey Holmes

Director:
Tracey Holmes

For the past 25 years Tracey Holmes has worked in journalism and communications, working with some of the world’s most respected media platforms – CNN International, Dubai Eye, CCTV China, Foxtel, SBS and the ABC. One of Tracey’s first tours of duty following her sports broadcasting cadetship at the ABC was to anchor ABC TV's coverage of the Australian World Series Beach Volleyball Tour. An award-winning interviewer, Tracey has sat down and drawn the best out of a collection of the world's most interesting people - from Prime Ministers to Presidents, Kings and Sheikhs, from awe inspiring athletes to challenging and thought provoking academics, from legendary entertainers to the most ordinary men and women in the street. Tracey's passion for sport has seen her cover 10 Olympic Games. She's been a broadcast mentor for the IOC's Young Reporter Program at each of the three editions of the Youth Olympic Games. Currently Tracey is an ABC presenter and senior reporter, host of The Ticket on ABC News Radio, and frequent writer for The Drum.

 

 

 

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.

WOMEN

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