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08 January 2020
By DAVID BERRY
The start of a new year brings great optimism and when it comes off a decade of sustained success, that optimism is justifiable.
For Volleyball Horsham, 2010-2019 was a decade where the sport took quantum leaps on the back of many loyal supporters, families and players.
The measure of this success can be seen across three different areas – member representation, state team selection and regional, state and national success.
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From a representation perspective, 10 members played more than 200 games for Volleyball Horsham during the decade. This takes into consideration support at domestic level, as well as representative and state level.
Every time a member pulls on the navy and red of a Horsham team or even the navy and white for Victoria, they are helping to put Volleyball Horsham on the map.
The list is headed by five-time A Grade premiership player Tim Popple, who chalked up 401 games in the decade.
Following closely on Popple’s heels is dual Country Championship All Star Seven representative Nathan Berry on 389, with nine-time McIntyre Medalist for the most consistent female in A Grade Kara Johnson on 328. Rounding out the top five were Matthew Berry on 303 and Cam Robinson on 272.
Volleyball Horsham has a proud history of producing players who have gone on to represent their state. The decade 2010-2019 saw 27 members participate at National Junior Volleyball Championships from under-15 level right through to under-19 level, with an even split of male and female players.
The 27 players were complemented by six members enhancing their volleyball knowledge as coaches, which results in valuable expertise coming back to domestic and school volleyball.
On the court, the decade was one where Volleyball Horsham came of age as a serious competitor, highlighted by success at country championships.
The pinnacle event for volleyball in the country saw Volleyball Horsham teams medal at every event throughout the decade, opening with a dominant women’s division-two gold medal performance, setting the platform for successive gold medals at division one level.
For the men, it took a little bit longer to win that elusive gold in division one. It came after four bronze and three silver medals.
To put into perspective just how successful the decade was, in the preceding 10 years, Volleyball Horsham won six medals at country championships, compared with 16 in the decade just finished.
Volleyball Horsham has been built on the support of schools across the region.
The schools introduce students to the game and then they filter into the respective grades of competition to give teams valuable match play. The schools see the value of participating in the National Schools Cup and it is at this event that players are identified and have a greater understanding of where they sit in the overall volleyball world.
To underline this success, teams representing Horsham, Murtoa and St Brigid’s colleges won six gold, four silver and five bronze medals at the schools cup against schools from across Australia, Singapore, Thailand, China and New Zealand. But all this success does not just happen, it takes hard work, commitment and support.
Volleyball Horsham would not be where it is today if it was not for the dedication of those players, families and schools that believe in what the sport can do for their children and students.
As the new decade begins, Volleyball Horsham will continue to provide an alternative sport that is affordable, has a clearly defined pathway for those who wish to take their participation to the next level and is played in a welcoming and inclusive environment which caters for everyone from primary-aged players through to veterans who want to have fun in their competitive twilight years.
If you are interested in participating in any of the grades of competition Volleyball Horsham has to offer, email email@example.com.
The entire January 8, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!