Almost 100 of New Zealand’s most talented young volleyballers were in Palmerston North earlier this week for the Junior Indoor camp at Central Energy Trust Arena.
Nine Regional Associations were represented in the 45 boys’ players at the camp while ten regions had players included in the 49 girls involved in the two-day contact overseen by 10 coaches from seven regions around the country.
Volleyball New Zealand Game Development Manager Johann Timmer said the quality of programmes around the country in Regional Associations and school environments is showing through nationally.
“The development of these athletes in their own regions is evident,” Timmer said.
“To have so many excited athletes having fun and competing all at a high level is amazing. A big congratulations goes to their school coaches and Regional Associations for the development in this space.”
Andrew Kilham, head coach of the Junior Women’s programme, said the theme of the camp was connection and direction with the players together for the first time since the identification phase of the programme in October 2022.
“The coaches looked to develop connections with squad members from all over the country and offer them some direction as to where the programme is heading, as well as areas where they may need to grow as players,” Kilham said.
“Points raised by coaches were actively addressed by athletes during our match play. The standard of play and level of commitment during these matches was excellent. Overall, the camp provided a strong and encouraging starting point for the Junior Women’s programme as we seek to develop teams to compete domestically this year and overseas next year.”
The next contact for the Junior teams is in July when the groups get together in Auckland.