Boultbee to lead high performance for Volleyball Australia
1 November 2014
VOLLEYBALL: Three weeks ahead of the international beach volleyball festival "Volleyfest" on Manly beach that will include the first stage of Olympic qualification for Oceania countries, John Boultbee, former Head of the Socceroos and Matilda's and Director of the Australian Institute of Sport for the Sydney Olympic Games has been appointed Director of High Performance to lead Australia's Volleyroos and Beach Volleyroos to Rio 2016.
Volleyball has undertaken major change in the past 18 months accelerating Australia's position in the world rankings. This appointment is in line with the new direction set by the sport's governing body, Volleyball Australia.
In the last 12 months, Volleyball Australia hosted 5 major international events including Australia's successful hosting of the Asian Qualification to the World Championships and the World League Finals in Sydney.
Australia's Volleyroos stunned the world to qualify for Group 1 after successfully beating pool leaders Netherlands and France in Sydney this year to win the Group 2 Finals in dramatic style. Described by FIVB President Dr Graca as an "excellent surprise for world volleyball".
The women's indoor Volleyroos, backed by mining giant Hancock Prospecting and Volleyball Australia new Patron, Ms Gina Rinehart, entered the World Grand Prix for the first time in their history and climbed over 50 places in the world rankings.
The men's Volleyroos went on to achieve a historic second round performance at the World Championships in Poland.
On the beach, both the men and women secured the Asian championships title as well as medalling in a grand slam event for the first time since 2008 (Bronze, Kaapa/ McHugh, Klagenfurt). The U23 women's pair (Del Solar/Laird) also won the World Championships to consolidate their status of Olympic Games contender for the continental cup qualification.
Mr Boultbee, having just finished his work with the Australian Rugby Union as the Chairman of the National Rugby Championship Commission said: "I am really excited at the opportunity of working with Volleyball Australia, its teams, coaches and athletes, and the support systems behind the teams. I have great admiration and respect for volleyballers, and my time at the AIS left me enthused about the game. Volleyball in Australia is a sport on the cusp of making great steps forward, and I am looking forward to assisting in their ambitious and determined Olympic campaign, and in setting up pathways for athletes in the future."
Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher knew they needed a top appointment to match their high performance ambitions.
“We needed someone who understands the complexity associated with global sports gender equal sports. Having worked closely with John leading up to Sydney 2000 and our gold medal success there I am confident John has the understanding of our sport's needs and demands. John will bring an unprecedented level of expertise to our high performance team. It’s a challenge for John and for us, but we are not shy to affirm our determination to medal in Rio 2016 while building the infrastructure of the future."
The newly appointed High Performance Director will have the opportunity to meet his team on the sands of Manly beach during the Oceania Championships in November, an event followed by Phase 1 of the Continental Cup (Olympic qualification) and the first leg of the Australian Beach Tour from 14 to 23 November 2014.