Volleyball Australia Announces Academy Selections For 2023
Thirty-one athletes from around the country have been selected for the 2023 intake to the Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA).
The AVA is a development program for beach and indoor volleyball, funded and hosted at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.
A key component of Volleyball Australia’s National Development Program, the AVA allows athletes to learn and develop in a sport-specific training environment as they look to take the next step in their careers.
This year’s intake sees 10 new athletes joining the 19-strong men’s program, while the 12 athletes in the women’s program are split evenly between first year and returning athletes.
Paul Smith, National Pathways Manager and AVA Program Director, says the program is proving successful in taking talented athletes and teaching them what it takes to compete at senior international level.
“The AVA is a way to accelerate athletes within our high performance environment to get them ready for the next steps on their athletic pathway,” said Smith. “They might spend 2-3 years with us training in both disciplines on a year-round basis.
“Our objectives are to graduate them to our Developing Beach Volleyroo programs which underpin our senior beach programs, or go towards indoor opportunities.
“These are athletes we’re targeting for future national team representation.”
Smith is proud that the Academy is not just providing athletes – most of whom are moving away from home for the first time – with the opportunity to become better sportspeople, but also to become more well-rounded individuals.
“They’re learning how to become full-time athletes,” says Smith. “The athletes are either still at high school, studying at university or doing some kind of work.
“And within the program there are quite a few educational pieces they’re exposed to like athlete wellbeing, sports integrity, coaching and officiating, nutrition and even some sports medicine.”
While there are still two Olympic cycles preceding it, Smith believes it’s highly likely current members of the Academy may well find themselves with the opportunity to compete at a home Games in 2032.
“The peak age for a volleyball athlete in either discipline is their late 20s,” he says. “The kids that are here now, in nine years time when Brisbane rolls around they’re going to be right in that peak age bracket.”
Volleyball Australia congratulates the following athletes and welcomes them to the 2023 Australian Volleyball Academy.
|Jacob Baird||QLD||Elizabeth Alchin*||WA|
|Samuel Chen||ACT||Tully Bew*||WA|
|Dominic Clement*||NSW||Tandia Briggs*||QLD|
|Mitchell Croft||VIC||Cassandra Dodd||WA|
|Timothy Ebbs||NSW||Josephine Foster*||QLD|
|Benjamin Farley||WA||Tyla Hardy||ACT|
|Hayden Johnson*||NSW||Kasey Hogan||QLD|
|Sam Kay*||VIC||Brielle Kettleton||QLD|
|William Kay*||VIC||Ella Milne||QLD|
|Matthew Kemp||QLD||Ella Schabort||WA|
|Caleb Lockington*||QLD||Chloe Wise*||QLD|
|Jarvis Page||NSW||Alexia Zammit*||WA|
|Xander van Driel*||QLD|
|* New AVA athlete|