Celebrating the Success of Young WA Volleyball Players

The Australian Volleyball Academy has recently announced selections for 2021. Five Western Australians have been successful and another two were offered to attend! 

Read on for more. 

Commencing at the Australian Volleyball Academy in 2021

The Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA) focuses on identifying and developing athletes with the potential to represent Australia at the Olympics in Volleyball and Beach Volleyball.  The AVA headquarters and training base are located at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, and it’s a dream come true for those who aspire to reach the elite level of their sport. 

We want to congratulate the following players for their selection to the AVA in 2021, and acknowledge the schools and clubs that have supported them: 

Tom Dempsey – Reds Junior Volleyball Club, West Coast Beach Volleyball Club, Aquinas College

Kaia Clarkin – Rossmoyne Volleyball Club, Gilmore College

Sarah Burton – Reds Volleyball Club, West Coast Beach Volleyball Club, Penrhos College

Cassie Dodd – Reds Volleyball Club, West Coast Beach Volleyball Club, Penrhos College

Ella Schabort – Rossmoyne Volleyball Club, West Coast Beach Volleyball Club, Penrhos College

Each has been exceptional in competition, achieving notable results at State and National level throughout previous years. This group follows other Western Australians who were selected for the Academy in 2020, including Tessa Browne (Rossmoyne Volleyball Club, West Coast Beach Volleyball Club, Penrhos College), Joshua Howat (UWA Volleyball Club, Mandurah Baptist College) and Korben Phillips (Balcatta Volleyball Club, West Coast Beach Volleyball Club, Hale School). 

It’s important to also mention that Caitlin Whincup and Elizabeth Alchin were also offered to attend the Australian Volleyball Academy, but have opted to remain home in WA at this stage. Amongst many notable results, Elizabeth and Caitlin won a gold medal in U17’s at the 2020 Australian Junior Beach Volleyball Championships, and Caitlin was a part of the victorious U15 team at the 2019 Australian Junior Volleyball Championships.

Hard Work Pays Off

This group of young players have been particularly strong as they’ve progressed through the age groups. We’ve previously covered the success of the girls squad at the national level and it’s fantastic to see the development continue. 

Many levels of volleyball in Western Australia have contributed to the success of this group. Alongside Club, school and VWA support, many of this group have also benefited from the Diamond Fitness High Performance program. Korben Phillips, Sarah Burton, Tessa Browne, Cassie Dodd, Ella Schabort, Elizabeth Alchin, Caitlin Whincup and a host of other talented players have taken part in this program. 

Diamond Fitness have been incredibly proactive and supportive in 2020, including the release of a fantastic free online program and a great supporting video playlist that helped during the interruptions caused by COVID. 

If you’re interested in The Diamond Volleyball program there is an upcoming induction for new athletes in February 2021, contact them here to find out more. Here is some of what you can expect! 

Good Luck for 2021

The AVA commences early in 2021 and most will leave for the Academy in January. Athletes will generally spend 2-3 years at the AVA preparing to be ready for their next step in the Volleyball high performance pathway. It’s a program that is already paying dividends: Western Australian Josh Howat has just become the first Australian Volleyball Academy athlete to graduate to the Developing Volleyroos! 

Volleyball WA wishes the players all the best for the full program of events in 2021.

Photo credit: Roy Meuronen Photography