Busselton Volleyball Association had a really strong year in 2020. We caught up with President David Hutchins to debrief the year and see what’s coming up in 2021.
Busselton Volleyball Association was recently recognised as the Regional Club of the Year and also had competitive success in 2020. Were there any milestones or initiatives you’re particularly proud of? And what’s driving the success?
Busselton had a great year competitively and was the overall club winner at State Championships in 2020. Both our Womens teams won their respective divisions and the Mens team was runner up in their division. The Mens WAVL team won the division 1 championship and, in their first year in the competition, the Womens team came third. Christie Daniels from the Womens WAVL team received the Division 1 WAVL competition MVP.
Perhaps there are a few reasons for the recent success. We have a robust volleyball community in Busselton and the Association is family and friendship-oriented, which has certainly helped. The atmosphere has continued to strengthen following our certification in the Good Sports Program.
The introduction of the Womens WAVL team in 2020 provided an additional focus for the Association and added another competitive pathway for members, outside of our local playing environment. We’ve also fine tuned our committee structure, expanding the number of committee members to share the load, and reduce the chance of burnout.
2020 was a challenging year for many clubs and Associations, and Busselton Volleyball Association also had its fair share of challenges. How did you manage through 2020 and are you now back on track?
Since its inception, the Busselton Volleyball Association has been ‘family’ oriented. The majority of members are in contact with each other on a social level. The community is still relatively small and well connected, which allows our members to keep in contact with each other for social and mental support.
We’ve developed a strong relationship with the City of Busselton and we worked together with them this year to deliver a shortened 8-week season. Everyone was very keen to play following the restrictions and the season was very successful, with 26 teams across 3 grades. The number of new teams and new faces was a highlight, including players travelling from Margaret River and Bunbury.
The Association really benefited from having participation from players from Margaret River and Bunbury, and the collaboration with Bunbury Volleyball Association. We grew in scale and began to unlock some of the potential to grow the game competitively, socially and in the local high schools around Busselton as well as in Margaret River. It’s a really positive sign for things to come.
We’re certainly back on track now and we’re currently in the early stages of the beach volleyball season. There are 30 teams in our pairs competition on Monday nights and 28 teams for our Wednesday 4-aside competition. The social atmosphere the event creates on the Busselton foreshore is magic due to the location and the people involved.
There have been some really positive participation numbers for volleyball in Western Australia, with the sport rising up near the traditional leading sports. What does that look like on the ground at your club?
As an Association, we’re seeing strong growth and we’re potentially looking at over 300 participants across the various forms of the game this year. We’re aiming to bring more WAVL teams for the Perth competition and really show the competitive potential in the region. We’ve stepped up our coaching and training sessions to match those aspirations.
We’ve also had some great support from The Goose, next to Busselton Jetty, and we’ll be looking to grow our relationships with other companies in 2021.
Are there any particular events (club, State or National level) in the 2021 calendar that Busselton are really looking forward to?
We’re always looking forward to WAVL, the State Beach Series and State Champs. We love making the trip to State Champs, as the regional associations get a weekend where they can have fun across all the grades.
We leap at anything we can get involved in and we’re excited by the new prospects. People around the Association are stepping up and taking coaching roles to build up the club. We can see that high school competition is also possible in the very near future.
How can people get involved with the Busselton Volleyball Association?
The best bet to get involved is to drop the Facebook page a message, get on the email list and you’ll stay up to date on the competitions. We have a 20 week hardcourt season through terms 2 and 3, and a 12 week season of outdoor beach (November and March). Aim to get down for a training night!