Tessa Browne is currently playing the game in Sweden but first, let’s hear how she got there.
Tessa first started playing volleyball when she was in Year 9 at Penrhos. She was encouraged by her PE teacher to trial for the school team traveling to Melbourne. The following year she trialed for the U16’s state team and represented the state throughout her junior years. In 2018 she competed in her first Australian Volleyball League competition as a part of a very strong and competitive team. She has also had a playing career and success on the sand, playing in the Alcohol. Think Again Beach Tour in Perth.
In 2019, she was given the chance to travel to Europe to play beach volleyball. Following this, she was invited to relocate to Canberra to take up a place at the Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA), where she trained for a very disrupted, COVID-filled 2 years. What she came away with from the experience was improved skills in both her indoor and beach game plus an understanding of the life of a full-time athlete. The training schedule was full-on and intense, so it was challenging to learn to balance this with other aspects of her life. “The enjoyment of discovering a routine and seeing the improvements really made it all worth it. Also, doing all this with my mates was heaps of fun.” Tessa said.
A major highlight of her time at the AVA was being able to play the entire Australian Beach Volleyball Tour with her fabulous partner, Sarah. The other crucial opportunity that stemmed from living in Canberra was the connections she gained that led her to where she is now, in Sweden. “That is the thing with opportunities like going into development programs – they will ALWAYS open doors to one thing or another.” Tessa reflects.
Tessa has no immediate thoughts of the future she is focused on the season and just taking each rather chilly day as it comes. She does however aspire to represent Australia again and get back to the beach after a European winter.
A for words of wisdom for any young Volleyballers, Tessa says to be open to absolutely anything that comes your way. She hadn’t played as a middle blocker for several years before coming to Sweden, but I have already learnt so much since being here and have certainly surprised myself. You’ve got nothing to lose!