U-19 Beach teams named for Asia

The eight players to represent New Zealand at the 2024 U-19 Asian Beach Volleyball Championships were named on Tuesday.

Following an identification process and training which began in December, two teams per gender have been named with players featuring heavily from both the Inter-Provincial Championships and NZ Secondary School Championships in January and February.

Five regions are represented across the teams; Harbour Volleyball, Waikato Volleyball, Volleyball Bay of Plenty, Tasman Volleyball and Canterbury Volleyball having players included.

U-19 Women’s Coach Liz Hanna is excited around the potential of the group she has.  

“We are looking forward to working with this talented group of young women who have numerous pathways and opportunities,” Hanna said.

“The potential across the group is exciting but a quick turnaround and building on the skills players bring into the environment will be our immediate focus for the Asian Championships.”

Meanwhile, U-19 Men’s Coach Luis Paulo Santana said the group has been working on long-term development areas as a priority while also balancing the need for focus on the upcoming event.

“This is such an exciting group of athletes, and it has been amazing to see the enthusiasm of the players for just being part of the programme,” Santana said.

“The team and I are excited about the near future and what we are looking to accomplish.”

The team will continue preparation ahead of the event in Thailand which provides opportunities to secure a birth in the World Championships in Shangluo, China from 27 August to 1 September 2024.

A top-five finish at the Asian Championships would automatically qualify New Zealand a spot in the World Championships.

New Zealand U-19 Beach Teams – 2024 Asian Championships
Roi Et, Thailand
May 1-5, 2024

Men's Team 1 

Calum Stewart – Volleyball Bay of Plenty
Liam Smith - Volleyball Waikato              

Men's Team 2
Davi Pacheco – Harbour Volleyball
Nathan Davies - Volleyball Tasman

Non-Travelling Reserves 
Thomas Vesty – Canterbury Volleyball
John Petrucci – Harbour Volleyball

Men's Coach 
Luis Paulo Santana

Women’s Team 1    
Emma Mason – Canterbury Volleyball
Kalea Norton – Harbour Volleyball

Women’s Team 2     
Kaia Buckley – Harbour Volleyball
Devyn Golaboski – Harbour Volleyball

Non-Travelling Reserves
Ruby Amkreutz – Harbour Volleyball
Morgan Lee - Canterbury Volleyball

Women’s Co-Coaches
Liz Hanna
Claire Stewart 

NZ Junior Beach coaches confirmed

Volleyball New Zealand is delighted to confirm the appointment of three coaches to lead the Junior Beach Programme for the next international cycle.

For the women’s programme, co-coaches have been named with Claire Stewart (based in Auckland) and Liz Hanna (based in Christchurch) to work together to guide the athletes in their care.

Stewart has a long-standing involvement in coaching volleyball in New Zealand is a former captain of the Volley Ferns. Her most recent appointment was as Midlands Te Wai Ora assistant coach in the 2022 National Volleyball League.

Hanna joins the national staff for the Junior programme from the coaching group with the Canterbury Volleyball Association. A former United States Division 1 College player, Hanna has spent the last several years playing on the G.J. Gardner Homes NZ Beach Tour presented by Tip Top.

Both Stewart and Hanna are currently involved in the C.O.DE-F women’s coaching programme led by Kim Smith. 

Meanwhile, Luis Santana has been named as the men’s Junior Beach coach for the next cycle.NZ

Originally from Brazil, Santana Luis had previously been an assistant coach in the Under 19 programme under Warren Smith and had the opportunity of coaching Kyle Smith and Charlie Dalton to 17th place at the World Championships in 2022.

On the back of the appointment of the trio, Volleyball New Zealand Performance Manager Colleen Campbell is excited for the year ahead.

“Congratulations to all the coaches who have been appointed, it's going to be a very busy and exciting year for the programmes and we look forward to providing quality experiences for the athletes involved,” Campbell said.

Both groups are preparing for the Asian Championships (as qualification for World Championships) with details to follow around specific timing and location.

Junior Beach Programme confirmed

Volleyball New Zealand is delighted to confirm details for the coming Junior Beach programme for 2023-2024.

The New Zealand Junior programme helps develop players through domestic and international competitions. These opportunities will allow coaches to develop athletes who will transition into the NZ A and High-Performance Beach Programme.

A full programme outline is below providing all the related information.

If you have any questions please contact VNZ Performance and Operations Manager Teresa Highnam - admin@volleyballnz.org.nz

Related information:

Kiwis claim Youth Comm Games medals

Two pairs of young New Zealand athletes claimed international honours on Friday, winning bronze medals at the 2023 Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinadad and Tobago.

Kiana Stevenson and Tineke Hinton stepped onto the podium in the women's event via a 2-0 victory over Kenyan pair Sharon Arusei and Abigael Chesebe.

The opening game was tight, with the Kiwis ultimately more composed at the end to win 22-20. The Kiwi pair learnt from the first game and were more clinical in the second for a 21-16 win, to take the match 2-0.

“I’m so stoked and proud,” said Hinton. “We definitely had to adapt to win that game but we did so really well and quickly and that helped us get that win.”

“We fought right to the end, it means so much to win a medal for our country,” added Stevenson.

Later in the day, New Zealand's men's pair of Calum Stewart and Juraj Krajci repeated the dose, claiming the win in their bronze medal match - a 2-1 victory over Cyprus' Alexis Savvidis and Anninos Chrysosotomou.

The Cypriots were ruthless in their first game against Kiwi pair Calum Stewart and Juraj Krajci, winning 21-12. The New Zealanders bounced back and improved, taking the next two games 19-21 and 14-16 to win bronze.

“That was a crazy three setter to finish the tournament,” said Krajci.

“It feels so great to win this medal and I can’t wait to call my mum and tell her.”

It’s the first time New Zealand's Beach Volleyballers have ever won a medal at the Commonwealth Youth Games.


Team set for Youth Commonwealth Games

A team of six has left New Zealand in preparation for the 2023 Youth Commonwealth Games in Trinidad and Tobago later this week.

Kiana Stevenson, Tineke Hinton, Calum Stewart and Juraj Krajci will represent their country at the event which begins on August 5 (Trinidad and Tobago time).

Coaches Fiona Scrimshaw (girls) and Warren Smith (boys) will accompany the teams.

The teams departed New Zealand in preparation for the event with the boys team preparing in Zurich and girls team linking in Los Angeles before travelling to the Caribbean for the event.

Volleyball New Zealand Performance Manager Colleen Campbell is excited for the team to hit the sand at the event with the build-up to the team's departure running over more than half the year.

I want to acknowledge the work of the coaches and the wider squad that has gone in over the summer period that has contributed to this campaign," Campbell said.

"The athletes are looking forward to playing against the best teams from the Commonwealth and the international competition and development opportunity that comes with it will be invaluable for those involved."

Volleyball NZ - Youth Commonwealth Games team 2023 - Trinidad & Tobago
August 5-10, 2023

Calum Stewart
Juraj Krajci
Kiana Stevenson
Tineke Hinton

Warren Smith
Fiona Scrimshaw

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