THREE junior Bendigo volleyballers are aiming to serve up something special at the School Sport Australia Under-16 Volleyball Championships in Western Australia this week.
Lewis Roberts, Bailey Keck and Lauren Cox are representing Victoria in the week-long tournament in Mandurah.
Bendigo’s representation is not confined to the playing ranks, with Todd Broadbent named head coach of the boys’ team and Scott Ross head coach of the girls.
The boys’ team is being aided by assistant coach Mark Jensen and manager Gel Klein-Boonschate and is currently undefeated after four matches.
Roberts is playing in his second under-16 championships, after he was part of the Victorian team which won silver last year as a bottom-age player.
Keck and Cox are making their debut at the championships, but were part of the Victorian under-15 team at last year’s Australian Junior Volleyball Championships.
Broadbent, who is a head coach with the Bendigo Academy of Sport volleyball program, said the trio had worked hard over the last couple of years to develop and improve their game.
“This has led to them being selected in the Victorian teams over the last couple of years and also to attend Australian junior volleyball camps as well,” he said.
“Since April we have been training in Melbourne every Sunday and we have also participated in a one day tournament in Melbourne and a camp in Bendigo to get both teams prepared for the championships.
“I know all the athletes are really looking forward to playing this week, as are the coaches.
“As coaches, we are looking forward to seeing what both the girls and boys teams can achieve during the championships against very strong opposition.
“This is a great challenge but one we know they can thrive in.”
Victoria is competitng against the ACT, New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia in a double round-robin series of matches.
The top two teams will progress to Friday’s gold medal match, with third and fourth playing off for the bronze.