Junior Programme Update
Volleyball New Zealand are pleased to announce its plans for the Junior Indoor Programme (athletes born 2003/2004 for Junior Men and 2004/2005 for Junior Women) for the next two years. The Junior programme for 2021/2022 will involve trials, training, and competitive opportunities internally and abroad, culminating with the pinnacle event of Asian Champs in 2022. The purpose of the junior programme is to start to prepare our best athletes in that age group to become high level senior international Volleyballers.
The cycle will begin with open trials in Hamilton and Christchurch in October before junior training squads will assemble following New Zealand Secondary School Champs. A minimum of one team from each age level within the Junior Programme (eg one 2003 and one 2004 team for men; and one 2004 and one 2005 team for the women) will then be selected for an internal competition or to attend Australian Junior Volleyball Champs in 2021. Trials will then be held again in October 2021, before a New Zealand Junior Team will be selected to prepare for Asian Champs in 2022.
After a thorough performance review, Volleyball New Zealand have decided on a few changes to its Junior Programme to increase accessibility to all athletes. Trials will be held in both North and South Islands, trainings will be held in conjunction with national events, and wherever possible VNZ will support both year levels within the Junior Age Group.
There will also be changes to what we offer to athletes in the youth age bracket. What we do know is that we will not send a team to Asian Youth Champs. However, we will be looking to provide opportunities with a domestic programme, more information will come out around these changes in the next few months. Again, this change is based on research into athlete development, and looking at what is best for athletes in this age bracket in order to help them succeed long term in Volleyball. It is also more aligned to Sport NZ's Balance is Better approach found here: https://balanceisbetter.org.nz/about/
Coaches for the Junior Programme's will be appointed in the next month and will be announced before trials in October.