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.

ABVC President's Update – November 2013

Over the past few months, while winter set in and our top men's and women's teams had one of their most successful seasons on the World Tour, the Australian Beach Volleyball Committee has been quietly working behind the scenes on various issues aimed at developing, maintaining and improving the sport.

Renault National Beach Volleyball Series

Following on from a successful 2013 Renault National Beach Volleyball Series, one of our members - Marta Makuch, developed a survey which was distributed to all players and staff to pull in real and honest feedback on how the Tour was perceived and suggestions on how we could make it better. All of the feedback was taken on board and many changes and improvements have been adopted.

With the employment of a new VA Events Manager comes a steep learning curve. So, over the past few months our entire Events Sub committee (Baz Wedmaier, Greg Jury, Marta Makuch and Al Hinchley) have greatly assisted Mat Meriaux, with many aspects of the upcoming National Tour. Specifically, Baz has produced the 2014 Hand Book and Greg and Al are assisting VA in the development of the National Ranking System.

Two of our members, Kerri Pottharst (President) and Aaron Crook (Representing the Players) were also involved in the planning meeting for the 2014 Renault National Beach Volleyball Series, from which a suggestion was raised to trial a new format. Aaron took that to the players and the feedback was almost 100% for the trial. We aim to trial the format at the first event in Glenelg, Jan 2014.

High Performance Program

With the advent of the Australian Sport's Commission's new Winning Edge program, Volleyball Australia has taken over the running of the High Performance program with much excitement. This responsibility has come with a necessity to re energise our current program and in doing so, Volleyball Australia sought the advice, experience and guidance from many of our members in helping to build an exciting new and sustainable system. An overview of the new system will be posted shortly on the VA website with an announcement of the posting sent out through the VA social media channels.

ABVC Structure

Finally, there has been some movement of positions within the ABVC. We were sad to lose Jonathon Fogarty from his board representative Chairman's position. Jonathon was not re-elected to the board of Volleyball Australia and chose to step down from the commission. Also resigning from the Commission was Andrew Scotford (other commitments) and Shaun Docherty (Relocating back to Canada.) Catriona Tweedie has stepped down from the Chair of the Particpation/Grass Roots sub committee, but will remain on the commission as a member.

We'd like to thank all of these members for giving up their time and being passionate about the sport they love. We wish them all well in their new endeavours.

Replacing Jonathon as VA's board representative is 1996 Beach Volleyball Olympian, Anita Palm.

We all look forward to a great season in 2014 and wish all of our athletes, coaches and administrators a very Merry Christmas with much good health and happiness in the New Year.

See you all on the sand

Kerri Pottharst


CEO Judy Flanagan wishes to thank all current and past members of the ABVC for their passion and commitment to working with VA to continue to develop and grow the great sport of Beach Volleyball. Judy said ‘VA is continuing to drive a significant change agenda that benefits all participants in Beach Volleyball and the ABVC have been integral in supporting this agenda. I would like to acknowledge the goodwill and personal time that ABVC members are contributing in this regard.



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