Regional development will be a major focus for Volleyball WA in 2021 and the appointment of Bradley Barclay who is based in Bunbury is a good way to get things moving.
Recent Ausplay data shows that Volleyball is in the top 15 physical activities undertaken by adults in Western Australia. Volleyball WA data suggests that there are over 181,000 people in the state playing the game both for fun and in competitions.
Brad a volleyball player has an incredible personal story which starts with a love for the game spanning more than 25 years. A workplace accident ended his career as an electrician due to the amputation of his lower left leg but not his competitive spirit. He wasted no time getting back to the sand and his beloved sport, representing the Australian Para Beach Volleyball squad in China in 2019 where they finished up in 6th place.
PLANS FOR 2021
Brad has already identified several strong clubs in the region providing opportunities for the community to play and compete and he looks forward to supporting the regional clubs and promoting all disciplines of volleyball for junior athletes. This goal is particularly close to his heart because he has two sons aged 9 and 11 who want to play the game. Brad said, “having junior programs running in the Peel and South-West regions will provide kids of all ages opportunities to improve and progress.”
He also recognises that there are a few barriers to the growth of Volleyball in the region including a limited number of places to play and the fact that high school players leave the region when they move to Perth for further study or work.
He did point out a positive result for Labour in the next state election could result in an $8million upgrade to the Bunbury Sports Centre providing new infrastructure for Volleyball in the region.
Brad plans to set his sights on schools, encouraging them to apply for government grants for equipment and coaching sessions as part of the Sporting School’s initiative to build the grass-roots participation numbers in the region.
Volleyball WA CEO Robyn Kuhl said “Sport is such an important part of a child’s life, it teaches them about team-work, fair play and having a go. It also builds self-confidence and resilience. Most of all sport is healthy, fun and a way to develop life-long friendships.”
Alongside his part-time role with Volleyball WA, he hopes to continue coaching local disabled athletes and take up a mentoring role with Limbs for Life who support people who are coming to terms with limb loss.
He was scheduled to compete overseas in Europe this year but feels those events will likely be cancelled due to COVID and has not discounted competing in the 2028 Paralympics in L.A.