Southland teens embrace volleyball
Performance programme reaps benefitsJAMIE SEARLE
Sending four teams to the Inter Provincial Champs in Christchurch is part of Volleyball Southland's growth plan.
The South Island tournament being held next week and Southland will have girls' and boys' under-16 and under-18 teams competing.
Volleyball Southland regional manager Donna Milne said a performance programme was put in place with knowledge gained from last year's champs.
''We sent the under-18 girls as a pilot [last year] so we could gauge where we needed to be in the future,'' Milne said.
She hopes to see the benefits of the programme reflected in players at the champs next week.
Talented players who have become Southland coaches this year are Fae Moeakiola (under-18 boys), Jorgelina Aleiva (under-18 girls), Jodie Mavor (under-16 boys) and Anastasia Shtampf (under-16 girls).
A quiz night supported by Southland businesses in September raised funds to help meet costs of the trip.
The 40 Southland players heading to Christchurch each sold two scratchy boards.
Volleyball Southland has 1446 affiliated members and 52 teams play in Invercargill.
A Southland secondary schools competition in the city is strong, with rural teams travelling from Winton, Te Anau, Gore and Tuatapere.
Milne said women outnumbered men in Southland Volleyball, especially with girls between 13 and 18.
Among the bright spots on Volleyball Southland's calendar next year are its return to Stadium Southland and two national tournaments in Invercargill.
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