Up until a few years ago Queensland’s Chris Hodges hadn’t stepped on a volleyball court let alone played the sport.
He was active in many sports up until Year 11 during his school days, but volleyball wasn’t one of one of them. “I had basically competed in every sport on offer,” says Chris, “Then a teacher from my school suggested that because of my height I should try volleyball, and I fell in love with the sport.”
It was fortuitous timing, as Chris had no idea about what he was going to do beyond Year 12; “I had thought about repeating my final year but along came volleyball!”
In 2017 and 2018 he played in the Australian Volleyball Schools Cup before being recruited to the high performance Australian Volleyball Academy in Canberra. “It all happened very quickly, it’s hard to believe. It’s a great opportunity.”
In many respects, 19-year-old Chris was the perfect choice to be involved in Volleyball Australia’s ‘Come and Try’ session at Campbell Primary School in Canberra on National Health and Physical Education Day.
Also involved in delivering the programme was fellow AVA player Tessa Browne.
VA delivered a targeted entry-level Light Volley session for one Grade four class for 40 minutes. After the session freestanding nets and other modified equipment were set up in the courtyard during the lunch break to deliver an all-inclusive volleyball experience for the whole school.
The ‘Come and Try’ activity, which involved over 150 students, demonstrated the vital role health and physical activity play in the school setting.
“I loved doing it,” says Tessa, “For me to show kids how to play volleyball was great and hopefully inspire them.”
VA National Participation Manager, Rebecca Walter said, “We had a fantastic day at Campbell Primary School, highlighting the benefits of health and physical activity utilising our brand new Light Volley equipment. We are so fortunate to have our AVA athletes willing to support and promote volleyball grassroots development. Who better to inspire future volleyball participation than those living it?”