Volleyball?s next crop of stars to hit court
By GREGOR MACTAGGARTmactaggartg@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE State High's School of Excellence volleyball program is on the lookout for next year's crop of stars when it hosts open trials on November 12.
Head coach Brian van der Weide is looking forward to a strong response at the trials which are open to girls attending the school in 2006.
'Basically the trials are in place to give girls who want to be part of the program the chance to try out,' van der Weide said.
'The trials are open to anyone who will be between years eight and 12 next year.'
Van der Weide believes one of the trials' key features is that they allow girls who are currently in year 7 at primary school to gain an early taste of the successful program.
'Any potential girls who are in year seven at the moment are asked to come down to the first trial,' he said.
'We actually do hold a second trial just for the year seven girls on November 30 because it is a big experience to trial with the older girls.'
When asked what he looks for from newcomers at the trials, understandably van der Weide was quite specific.
"It doesn't really matter if the girls have not played volleyball before, as long as they have a base of athletic ability,' he said.
'If they are athletic and tall, or have the potential to be tall, we can certainly teach them the skills.'
And there is no doubt he can, with the SOE program having a glistening record of producing state and national players out of girls with no background in the sport.
Not only that, but a number of SOE players have gone to college in the US after finishing their school commitments.
'Volleyball can offer the girls the chance to go to college in America,' he said.
'We have a proud history of our girls getting college scholarships, so the chances are there if they work hard enough.'
The trials are being held at the Gladstone State High gymnasium between 9am and midday.
In more news, van der Weide is looking for any local families willing to take billets in 2006.
'If anyone is interested they can phone me on 4976 6118 and we can have a chat about it.'
And preparations for next month's national titles being staged in Melbourne are travelling well with the school sending two teams this year.
Both the Open team and year eight team are expected to shine at the titles which attracts the top 12 teams from around Australia.