Four of New Zealand brightest young beach volleyball talents head overseas on Wednesday in preparation for the U-19 Beach World Championships.
Fresh off their selection in the top five of the women’s National Volleyball League draft in August, Burnside High School mates Rosa Vesty and Taylah Holdem will represent their country in the women’s competition while Rosmini College’s Charlie Dalton and Kyle Smith (formally Hillcrest High School) will compete in the men’s event.
Speaking to VNZ before flying out on Wednesday, Dalton said he is relishing the chance at the next level over the next couple of weeks.
“Definitely the exposure piece and being able to play on the world stage,” Dalton said.
“Because it’s a world champs, it’s the ultimate peak of our age group in beach volleyball which is pretty exciting.
“Playing Asian Championships earlier this year has been good for me, but this is another step up, being able to see the European teams and experience all different types of game play.”
Both teams initially head to Los Angeles for training, where they will be hosted by former New Zealand Beach player and Asian Champion Hayden Jones before travelling on to Turkey for the main event.
Dalton says the lead up to the event has been good with a mix of work individually and as a team ahead of the first game in Turkey.
“Preparation has been good – Kyle has been in the South Island with Waz [Warren Smith] and I’ve been doing some stuff with Johann Timmer in Mairangi Bay. Over the last three days we’ve had a camp in Auckland which has been some good preparation to get our connection going.
“Leading into LA which should be good, another three solid days training and we get to experience harsher conditions in the heat wave they have going on over there.
“I think we’ve got enough time to get that connection going.”
Follow the progress of the Kiwi teams at the World U-19 Beach Championships via the Volleyball NZ Instagram and Facebook accounts.
Related link: NZ Junior Beach Trials information 2022-2024
World U-19 Beach Championships 2022
Dikili, İzmir, Turkey
Coach: Fiona Scrimshaw
Players: Rosa Vesty and Taylah Holdem (Burnside High School/Canterbury Volleyball)
Coach: Luis Paulo (Men’s Programme coach Warren Smith unavailable for the event)
Players: Charlie Dalton (Rosmini College/Harbour Volleyball) and Kyle Smith (formerly Hillcrest High School/Waikato Volleyball)