The Sunraysia Academy of Sport 2011/12 program finished on a high note with a large number of players being selected to represent Victoria in the upcoming national championships.
Twenty eight athletes completed the program which started back in October with an Athlete Career and Education Day. The squad have been training twice a week for the past 6 months and have also attend a tournament in Horsham and a training camp in January. All athletes have attended Club Aquarius every Friday night for a one hour group fitness training session. Thanks to Club Aquarius who also provided each athlete with a free 6 month membership to complete an individual fitness program.
The program has been fortunate to have involved some very experienced coaches; Brad Hassell coached the girls and is still playing at a very high level, playing in the successful Western Phantoms team in 2011. Paul Freckleton the boys coach has been selected to coach the under 17 Victorian Boys West team. Other coaches who have worked with the squad include; Steve Benson, who works for the AIS Beach Volleyball unit in Adelaide and Steve Purcell who has been selected to coach the under 17 Victorian Girls West team.
Athletes have recently travelled to Melbourne and Bendigo to attend trials and will need to continue to travel on a consistent basis to these places in a lead up to the National Championships which will be held in Melbourne from the 1st-7th July.
The following athletes were selected in the Under 17 girls west team; Abigail Alabaster, Karly Bartlett, Breanna Doorne, Melanie Oâ€™Callaghan, Alyce Smith. Sophie Perry has been selected as an emergency.
Dustin Freckleton and Kyahm Ross have been selected in the Under 17 boys blue team which include the top 12 volleyball athletes in the state for that age group. The under 17 boys west team includes; Trent Branson, Zachary Hermans, Jesse Robinson, Nicholas Stewart. Emergencies for this team are Tain Byrne and Forrest Patterson.
In the under 19 mens blue team which is the top team, Ashby Smith, a past Sunraysia Academy of Sport athletes has been selected. Adrian Fox was selected in the under 19 mens white team.
The number of athletes selected in Victorian state teams is a direct result of the hard work these athletes have put in over the last 6 months and the high quality of coaching and competition opportunities they have received.