Winzer appointed inaugural Centre of Excellence head coach


Australian women’s volleyball coach, Shannon Winzer, has been announced as the inaugural head coach of the new Volleyball Australia Women’s Centre of Excellence at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra.

Winzer, who took over as coach of the women’s helloworld Volleyroos this year, will relocate from Melbourne to Canberra to oversee the introduction of the new program.

The Centre of Excellence will open its doors in early 2017, and already more than 40 players from throughout Australia have applied to be part of the initial intake.

Winzer will continue as coach of the helloworld Volleyroos, and said she’s excited to be part of Australian volleyball history.

“This is the most exciting time for women’s volleyball in Australia,” Winzer said.

“We missed an opportunity after the Sydney Olympics to really grow the game in Australia, but we are about to make up for lost time.

“Our goal is to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games, and having a Centre of Excellence will ensure our best players get access to the best facilities and support staff. And with the incredible support already provided by Volleyball Australia, we have the foundations for making our helloworld Volleyroos world-class.”

Canadian-born Winzer has an outstanding track record as a coach, including guiding Victoria’s Uni Blues to the past three Australian Volleyball League titles.

She has also played at the top level for Australia, Canada and the UK.

There were more than 30 applicants from around the world for the head coach role at the Centre of Excellence, but VA High Performance Manager, John Boultbee, said Winzer was a stand-out.

“Shannon has already shown she has the tough, no-nonsense approach to coaching which is required to succeed at the top level,” he said.

“And her experience as a player and a coach, and her detailed knowledge of Australia’s elite and up-and-coming players, will give her a strong start in this important new role.

“We are very grateful to Shannon and her young family for agreeing to relocate to Canberra to take charge of this program. It’s an exciting time for the women’s helloworld Volleyroos, and it’s fantastic to have a person of Shannon’s calibre in charge.”

The Women’s Centre of Excellence will work closely with the existing Men’s Centre of Excellence based at the AIS, and will be supported by AIS staff and resources.