Bawden and Clancy are off to Rio

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Louise Bawden and Taliqua Clancy have today been officially named to represent Australia in beach volleyball at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Selection is another important step in their master plan of winning a medal on the famous Copacabana Beach.

Clancy, 23, will become Australia’s first Indigenous Olympian in the sport and Bawden, 34, is off to her third Games, 16 years after her first. The pair joined forces after the London Olympics and have continued to improve and now consistently challenge the top teams in the world.

The pair finished the 15-month qualification period seeded seventh on Olympic adjusted rankings, to easily secure the most direct way to the Games amongst the top 15 teams.

Both athletes are proud to have secured Olympic selection and to be seeded near the top of the field, but it is just the start of their Rio plans.

“Selection is very exciting and I feel very fortunate to be going to a third Games but the job is not done,” Bawden, who played indoor volleyball at Sydney 2000 and beach with Becchara Palmer at London 2012, said.

“Seeded seventh is a good position to be in, but we are always wanting more. We are doing everything possible to produce our strongest performances and win an Olympic medal on the beach in Rio.”

The Adelaide-based pair had match points against the world champions from Brazil in Hamburg last week before finishing fifth, providing more motivation for the final weeks of their preparation.

Clancy hopes her hard work and rise from top junior to making her first Olympic team will motivate other Indigenous athletes to follow in her footsteps.

“I’m really proud of it (selection),” Clancy said. “I’m starting to realise how special it is for me and my culture. I hope I can inspire people to dream and do things that haven’t been done before.

“My family are really happy for me. They don’t get too over excited but they are pretty proud.”

Clancy left her hometown of Kingaroy in Queensland - which is 200km inland from the nearest beach – aged 16, and was soon part of the Australian beach volleyball program in Adelaide. She was part of the Continental Cup team format that helped Natalie Cook and Tamsin Hinchley secure their place at London 2012.

Clancy has not been back home to Kingaroy for quite a while but she is looking forward to going back there after the Games.

“I don’t get home too much but my grandparents keep me updated on what is happening and I’m looking forward to going back for a visit after the Games.”

Her grandparents won’t make the trip to Rio but the rest of her direct family, and some friends who are already travelling, will be sitting in the stands cheering on the Aussies at Copacabana Beach.

Bawden’s longevity in the sport is remarkable and she has enjoyed assuming the senior role as they continue to improve. One of their targets is ‘continual growth’ and personally Bawden is ‘really loving it and still finding areas to improve.’

The pair travel back to Europe on Friday for more tournaments in Croatia and Switzerland. The Major Series event in Gstaad is where the make-up of the four teams in each of the six pools will be known.

Australia can qualify one more women’s team and a men’s team for Rio through the cut-throat Asia- Pacific Continental Cup Final being held on the Esplanade in Cairns this week. The top men’s and women’s team at the tournament will book their spot in Rio, while the second and third placed teams get one last shot in Russia next month.

The Continental Cup process started back in early 2015 and Bawden is feeling for her teammates.

“We are sending good vibes to the Teams up in Cairns. T (Taliqua) was part of it for London and it is an incredibly high pressure event. The pairs are supporting each other well and are feeling positive.”

Three-time Asian Champions Chris McHugh and Isaac Kapa will look to assert their dominance. The second Australian team will be Joshua Court and Damien Schumann.

Nikki Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar were second behind a strong Chinese Team at the recent Asian Championships on Manly Beach and they’ll be looking to turn the tables in Cairns. 2012 Olympian Becchara Palmer and former Australian indoor player, Phoebe Bell, will make up the second team.    

The selection of Bawden and Clancy takes the number of athletes on the 2016 Olympic Team so far to 189 from 19 sports, with an expected final team of around 400 athletes.

Italy stares down plucky Volleyroos

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ITALY STARES DOWN AUSTRALIAN CHALLENGE

Australian volleyball coach Roberto Santilli believes his team can still match the top teams in the world, despite losing all three matches on the opening weekend of World League in Sydney.

The helloworld Volleyroos showed improvement despite losing 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-20) to Italy on Sunday afternoon.

The team has been without captain Tom Edgar (abdomen) and middle blocker Nehemiah Mote (knee) over the weekend, and will also lose former captain Aidan Zingel (ankle) for next weekend’s fixtures in Rome.

Australia were beaten 3-0 by Belgium after controlling most of the opening set on Friday night, but were then soundly beaten by current World League champions, France, on Saturday night.

On Sunday Santilli promoted 22-year-old Jordan Richards to the starting line-up, and he responded with a powerful display of serving, blocking and spiking to lead the scoring for the Volleyroos with 15 points.

“I think we played much better than the first and second day,” Santilli said.

“We put some young guys out there, and Richards and (Harry) Peacock played well.

“Even if we play well, at the important moment we always make a mistake. It is through experience mainly.”

Captain Greg Sukochev said despite the injuries the team was on the improve.

“We matched it with them for almost the entire game,” he said.

“Unfortunately we couldn’t take away any sets, but point-for-point it was a real battle. The stepping stones are there, we just have to take the steps.”

Australia will get a chance of revenge against Italy and Belgium next weekend, as well as USA, before heading to Dallas for the final weekend of World League.

Statement from Volleyball Australia on passing of Georgie Rowe

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Volleyball Australia is deeply saddened to announce the passing of Volleyroo Georgie Rowe, a valued member of the Australian women’s volleyball team and the wider volleyball community.

The Australian men’s volleyball team will observe a one minute silence before Sunday’s World League match against Italy as a mark of respect for the life of Georgie Rowe, a tremendous friend and teammate of many in Australian volleyball.

The following is a statement from Georgie’s family.

It is with great sadness and loss that Georgie Rowe passed away on Saturday June 18 following a severe car accident.

Georgie's passion was Volleyball and she achieved success at all levels including playing for the Australian Women's Volleyball team. Her family has been overwhelmed with support from so many people, not the least being the Volleyball community. She was so driven and determined and had a presence on the court, whilst having a kind and quiet personality.

 

She inspired so many and will be greatly missed.

 

Peter, Fiona and Tom Rowe

CARRACHER

President: 
Craig Carracher

Craig has previously been a director of Volleyball Australia from 1996 to 1999 and was CEO 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 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 is also on the Board of the Australian Olympic Committee. 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

Borgeaud

Vice President:
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. 

 

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.

 

 

  

  

POTTHARST

Director:
Kerri Pottharst

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

SCOTFORD

Director:
Andrew Scotford

Andrew has spent the past 20 years in various roles in sport including over 7 years as the General Manager of Volleyball Australia from 2000 to 2007. This period has seen him in leadership roles and national, state and local across a variety of sports including Cricket, AFL and Basketball. He also has a passion about sports officiating and continues to both officiate and coach others in numerous sports including Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. Outside of his sports interest he currently works as a Student Support Manager with the Canberra Institute of Technology Student Association and is also a board member of the Tertiary Access Group, a cooperative buying group in the tertiary education sector.

 

 

MERIAUX

Secretary General (ex oficio):
Mathieu Meriaux - VA 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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