SNV is very excited to see so many of our junior players being selected in NSW State Teams to compete at the upcoming Australian Junior Volleyball Championships on the Gold Coast in September as well as other State and National teams. SNV is pleased to be able to offer these players $100 each towards the costs of attending these national events (details on how to apply for this sponsorship) and has invited them to share a bit about their volleyball past & present with us. More profiles to come!
Amy Wolken Under 15’s Navy Team
A bit about you: I’m Amy and I’m 13 years old. I first started properly playing volleyball last year, although I’ve been involved in Junior Academy and other programs since I was younger, and what with both my parents being great at it, I wasn’t new to the sport.
Position: Not sure yet! I played setter for the Sydney Metro team this year, but I’m training as an outside hitter now.
What do you love about volleyball?
I love everything about volleyball. I love how satisfying it is when you do a pass that goes right where you want it, a perfect set, when you hit the ball right in the middle of your palm. I love how you can be loud and happy with your teammates. Also I love how strategic volleyball is, how you have the idea of a dig, set and spike, transitioning etc, and how you all work as a team to achieve this.
Life outside of volleyball?
I don’t play any other sports but I do play basketball in the backyard, cycle and hike with family & friends and I go running sometimes. When I’m not playing volleyball I do homework, cook and eat food, spend time with my friends & family, and I like to read as well 🙂
Kiefer Sinclair Under 15’s Sky Team
A bit about you: My name is Kiefer and I am 13 years old and I have been playing volleyball from the start of last year for my school, even though we don’t have a boys team I still train Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I love it.
Position: I currently play Setter and hope to continue in this role because I think that being able to act in a position where you get to decide where you put the ball and then watching it being taken out of the air is exciting.
What do you love about volleyball? Even being off the court I still add volleyball into my life. For example, on the weekends I hit on the trampoline and at night the volleyball stays in my bed and I sleep with it. In the end I love being able to play volleyball for my State, and hope I will make a career out of it in the future.
Life outside of volleyball? Other interests include playing soccer for my local club as well as doing drama after school. I enjoy riding my bike on the weekends.
Tommy Lu Under 19’s Navy Team
A bit about you: My name is Tommy Lu, I started playing volleyball in 2013 and I am 16 years old. I go to Homebush Boys High School and I started playing for SNV in 2015 in the U19 division. I also joined the NSW U15 team in 2013 and then came back into State in 2016 when I joined the U17 NSW team and was captain.
Position: Outside and/or Opposite
What do you love about volleyball? The thing I love the most about volleyball is the explosiveness and how fast everything functions on court, I love how volleyball is a team sport and that you are not competing alone but alongside with fellow teammates that are there to support you.
Life Outside of Volleyball? When I’m not playing volleyball I am usually either at home cooking, catching up on the latest TV shows or studying for upcoming assessments at school.
Hayden Gu Under 19’s Sky Team (also NSW CHS Tahiti Tour!)
Position: Outside Hitter/Libero
What I love: Having started half-way since year 9 for school, I quickly grew passionate for the sport. Unlike all other sports I’ve played before (some at high levels) volleyball provided a unique experience where as much as teamwork is crucial, individual skills are able to shine. In many ways, I think of it as the childhood game “Don’t let the ball/balloon touch the ground” on steroids. I also enjoyed the explosive and focused game-play where every point or set of points can take completely different directions.
What I don’t love: The sport is unique in that players are only able to touch the ball once to fulfill a purpose. While this is interesting and the fundamental dynamic of the game, it’s easy to make mistakes and then for the team to get stuck in a rut. Another point I dislike about volleyball and other sports in general is its reliance on refereeing.
What I do when I’m not playing: I currently attend Baulkham Hills High School and as a year 11 student, my priorities are in studying. I enjoy my studies and love listening to music, though playing volleyball has become an integral part of not only my lifestyle, but who I am. I often attribute much of my growth as a person to the character-building experiences volleyball has provided me.
Summary of the Tahiti Trip: For me this trip provided an immensely important character-building experience as much as it did a great level of volleyball. We placed 2nd in the u19s Division though it was amazing to play up a division in the Open Men’s where we were able to play against the national team of Tahiti. I’m sure each and every one of my teammates, alongside myself, have learnt from this trip. Shout out to the boys who were amazing on and off the court as I had heaps of fun, all the while being able to play with teammates who have experienced higher levels of volleyball. Tahiti is a beautiful country with beautiful people, I am certain all the members of the trip had an unforgettable experience.
Grace Blomfield Under 15’s Navy Team
A bit about you: My name is Grace, and I am 14 years old. I first started learning and playing volleyball in September last year, however I was always interested in the sport, especially when we did a unit on it in PE class in year 7. My friends and I used to practise digs, sets, and spikes when we were in the pool, so I’ve always wanted to play the sport.
Position: I’m not really sure. I was usually put as a middle or outside during the Metro competition, and I like these two positions because I enjoy attacking, especially spiking.
What do you love about volleyball? My favourite thing about volleyball is the community and teamwork. It’s such a great team sport that requires cooperating with others in a fast paced, reactive game, and it is in an environment where you can always meet new people and make friends. This is especially due to the lack of aggressive contact with the opposing team. I also enjoy attacking and the collective joy you and your team get when you score a point or make a perfect hit.
Life outside of volleyball? When I’m not spending my time studying, I enjoy playing and listening to music, playing video games, surfing with my friends, fishing, baking, and spending time with friends and family. I also have a love for punk rock, concerts, musicals, and cats. Volleyball is the only sport I play now, although I used to play netball, and I am an experienced horse rider.
Fraser Garrett Under 17’s Navy Team & 16’s NSW All Schools
Position: I play libero for both of my State teams but also like to set for SVL and social.
What I love: what I love about volleyball is that you’re always involved in the game either passing, setting or spiking even if you’re not doing any of those u always have to be thinking about where you’re standing, moving to or transitioning getting ready to hit.
Life outside volleyball: I also like playing oztag, touch footy, playing 2k and also hanging with my mates.
Matt Rennie Under 19’s Navy Team
A bit about me: My name is Matthew Rennie. I am 17 years old and started playing volleyball after my sister taught me in the backyard. I am currently playing for SNV in the U19 division as well as training in the U19 NSW Navy team for the AJVC at the end of September. I have played for NSW for 4 years, starting in the U17’s division when I was only 14. I’m in Year 11 at St Patrick’s College, Strathfield, which sadly doesn’t offer volleyball as a co-curricular sport.
Position: I play middle for SNV but will be hitting from the outside for NSW.
What I love: I love volleyball and it has become part of my family – a bit like the Force. My Dad used to play and my sister plays. Volleyball is such an unselfish game; there is no way that you can keep the ball to yourself or not get a touch in a good rally. Everyone is a part of the superb slams and aces but the best moments are when the team can pull the ball back over the net after a mad scramble, diving over people and chairs.
Life outside volleyball: When I’m not playing or training for SVL, I’m training with NSW. When I’m not training with NSW, I’ll be playing beach volleyball. But in the moments that I’m not playing, I’m doing school work, playing soccer or basketball for school, or playing videogames.