Aoraki | Bay of Plenty

Archived News Items


Volleyball NZ appoints new Chief Executive

The Board of Volleyball New Zealand (VNZ) is delighted to announce the appointment of Toni-Maree Carnie as it’s new Chief Executive.

“It’s a wonderful outcome after a thorough selection process. Toni-Maree is a proven leader and we are excited for what she will bring to volleyball across New Zealand. Her strategic leadership capability combined with her effective stakeholder engagement and wealth of knowledge in a range of sports provided the independent selection committee with the confidence that this was an excellent appointment” says VNZ Chair, Claire Stewart.

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Volleyball New Zealand CEO stepping down

Paul Cameron, Chief Executive of Volleyball New Zealand (VNZ) has resigned and will leave VNZ over the coming months. Paul has provided leadership to the sport since 2013.

His resignation coincides with completion of the 2014/15-2017/18 Strategic Plan. Under Paul’s leadership there have been a number of significant achievements including:
• Establishment of head office in Wellington at the ASB Sports Centre in Wellington
• Improved financial stability
• Development of the annual Volleyball Association Forums • Introduction of interprovincial competition (IPC)
• Creating the opportunities for coach development with assistance from world renowned coaches
• Extension of the beach volleyball program
• World Masters Games 2017 for beach and indoor
• 50th Jubilee of VNZ - 2017
• 50th New Zealand Secondary Schools Championships, 2018 - record number of teams, 172
• Bronze Medal at the Commonwealth Games Beach

Volleyball 2018 VNZ Chair, Claire Stewart and President, Jock Murley, summarise Paul’s contribution to the sport as follows: “During his tenure, Paul has developed a highly collaborative culture across the Volleyball community and its key stakeholders, including Sport NZ, funders and international organisations. The sport has undergone significant positive change under his leadership and the Board thanks him for developing Volleyball at all levels. Paul leaves VNZ to enjoy more time with his family and to pursue other interests, including playing more golf. We wish him all the very best in the future.”

The recruitment for Paul’s replacement will commence immediately.

Claire Stewart

Sam & Ben O'Dea win Bronze at the Comm Games

Tauranga brothers Ben and Sam O'Dea are now Commonwealth Games bronze medallists.

The Kiwi beach volleyballers beat the more experienced English pair of Chris Gregory and Jake Sheaf 21-13, 21-15 at the iconic Coolangatta beachfront setting on the Gold Coast on Thursday.


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O'Dea brothers named in Commonwealth Games team

Men’s beach volleyball pair Sam and Ben O’Dea have been named to the New Zealand team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Beach volleyball is making its Commonwealth Games debut at Gold Coast 2018 and the O’Deas will join the women’s pair of Shaunna Polley and Kelsie Wills to complete the New Zealand team.

Ben, the younger of the brothers at 25 years old, is eyeing his first Commonwealth Games experience with confidence.
“We are seeded fourth behind Canada, Australia and England. Canada are our closest competition and we have been back and forth in close games against the Australian teams for the past few years. England are also a solid outfit, but we are aiming for gold.”

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Leanne Turrell appointed as National Development Manager


Volleyball New Zealand has appointed Leanne Turrell, as their new National Development Manager, replacing the outgoing Game Development Manager, Matt Wenn.

Leanne said she has been impressed by the changes Volleyball New Zealand have made and their growth over the last five years, which had made her want to be part of the organisation.

“I feel I can have a really positive impact and make a valuable contribution to Volleyball in New Zealand, from the community, through to the high-performance level.”

The National Development Manager will work to lead, facilitate and grow the VNZ Coach Development programme (VNZCDP), maximise development opportunities for participants and athletes and support growth within the Volleyball Associations across New Zealand.

“Leanne already has experience working with Volleyball New Zealand both as a national performance coach and a regional coach developer. Her holistic approach to athlete development and creating positive experiences for all participants, are philosophies that align strongly with our participant focused approach.” Said outgoing Game Development Manager, Matt Wenn.

Leanne Turrell will work closely with Volleyball New Zealand Coaching Advisor Mike Dudson and regional association development staff, with a focus on participant, athlete and coach development.

Volleyball New Zealand CEO, Paul Cameron, said the appointment of Leanne Turrell was vital in continuing the momentum created by Matt Wenn.

“As well as Leanne’s volleyball experience at both a national and regional level, it was Leanne’s past work experiences, involving high levels of communication, leadership and management that were important to us. She has a proven track record of building highly engaged and effective teams both on and off the court, and in the work place.” Said Mr Cameron.

“The quality of the applicants was outstanding, with a number coming from overseas. We were impressed by Leanne’s experience and passion. We are thrilled to have her onboard and are confident she will bring to the position exactly what we need. We continue to be excited about the future of our sport.”


First ever New Zealand Commonwealth Games beach volleyball team excited for challenge of Gold Coast 2018


Women’s beach volleyball pair Kelsie Wills and Shaunna Polley have been named to the New Zealand team for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The pair have been selected following a successful international season which included a bronze medal performance at the 2017 Ulsan 1 Star World Tour Event in Korea. 

Beach volleyball is making its Commonwealth Games debut at Gold Coast 2018 and 24 year old Shaunna Polley is excited to be one of the first New Zealanders to compete for her sport at the games.

“It’s a huge honour and it’s going to be pretty special to represent our country on the international stage against some great teams,” she said.

“We’ve put in a huge amount of work to make it to this point so we’re really pleased to be named and we can’t wait to compete in the Commonwealth Games”.

Polley has competed on the Gold Coast before and says the conditions can be tricky.

“The sand’s really deep over there and that makes it harder to jump high so that’s a factor to consider and we’ll be training to mitigate that.”

25 year old Kelsie Wills, who has played indoor volleyball professionally in France, is expecting stiff competition.

“Australia, Canada and Vanuatu are some of the really strong teams, they’re some of the best in the world but we’re up for the challenge and we’ll be ready for them,” she said.

“After a year of working full time and travelling to competitions and trying to meet criteria it’s such a great feeling to be named to the team and to get to represent New Zealand and wear the fern”.

NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the pair.

“Kelsie and Shaunna have put in a lot of work to get to where they are and should be extremely proud of making the team in the face of stiff competition.”

“Beach volleyball is a great spectator sport and I have no doubt that they’ll be supported by a strong contingent of Kiwi fans on the Gold Coast in April.”

Volleyball New Zealand CEO Paul Cameron says the organisation is extremely pleased to have its first beach athletes selected for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

"It’s a very exciting time for volleyball in New Zealand. We have an extremely high calibre of players with outstanding talent coming through the ranks," he said.

"Kelsie and Shaunna have worked extremely hard over the past twelve months achieving some great international success and fully deserve to be selected as the women's combination for the Commonwealth Games."  

Polley and Wills compete in the Waikato Open beach volleyball competition tomorrow before heading to international competitions in Australia and the US as they prepare for Gold Coast 2018.