Australian Volleyball Academy visits the Women’s Beach Volleyroos

Last week, a group of the AVA Women's squad were fortunate enough to spend a week up at the National Women’s Beach program in Queensland.

AVA athletes Jana Milutinovic, Tara Phillips, Charlotte White (SA), and Tessa Browne (WA) spent the week at the Queensland Academy of Sport and trained at the Sandstorm beach volleyball facility alongside Women’s Beach Volleyroos Mariafe Artacho del Solar, Taliqua Clancy, Phoebe Bell, and Jess Ngauamo.

”We’ve had so much fun learning from everyone up here”, said AVA athlete Tara Phillips. “This week was an amazing opportunity to train alongside and with one of the best teams in the world!”.

The squad had daily training sessions with Women’s National Beach head coach Kirk Pitman and Women’s beach coach Brad Tutton. The absence of competitive opportunities in 2020 has made it challenging to demonstrate the vast growth that the AVA athletes have undergone this year, however this camp was a great opportunity for the athletes to show-case their skills and to show the national beach coaches what they have learnt at the AVA this year.

It was great to give the girls such a valuable experience with the Women’s Volleyroos and to help them in understanding where they are developmentally in the volleyball pathway”, said Head Women’s coach Kirk Pitman.

AVA beach coach Anne Meijnderts accompanied the squad to Brisbane and used the camp to help develop the athletes further and also as a development opportunity for herself, saying "The camp has been a great learning experience both for the athletes and for me”. “It has been amazing to be around the world class senior athletes and coaching staff, and to have the opportunity to engage with them on and off the court.

“Having Anne here has been a great experience, for us to connect, and for me to share my coaching experiences and to also guide her on athlete development priorities that we expect in the National beach program”, added Pitman.

The squad also had a special visit from five-time Olympian and beach volleyball gold medallist Nat Cook, where she was able to share some of her Olympic wisdom with the group.

The AVA athletes will now return to Canberra to finish out the 2020 year, bringing with them valuable experiences to help shape their volleyball futures.

The primary objective of the Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA) is to identify and develop Olympic potential athletes for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. It is the High-Performance Development Program for volleyball and beach volleyball athletes who aspire to reach the elite level of their sport.

For any enquiries, please contact the AVA team at