Thursday 08 June 2023

Ashton’s Volleyball Success

Year 9 student, Ashton has been selected in the Australian Under 16 Volleyball Team to compete for Australia at the Asian Championships from 22 – 29 July in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

“This is obviously a huge achievement for Ashton but also a major milestone for the Ivanhoe Volleyball Program with Ashton being our first ever male player to make a Junior National team and the 3rd ever Ivanhoe student behind Emily Gallagher and Elly McInerney who played for Australian junior teams in 2018,” said Sports Coordinator John McInerney.

Ashton’s ascent through the ranks has been remarkable since joining Ivanhoe’s Firsts Team as a 14-year-old late last year. In a remarkable effort, Ashton was selected for the Junior National Team before even making a Junior State team. Ashton was recognised and talent spotted at the Gold Coast National Schools tournament Ivanhoe took part in last December. Since then, he has been invited to National Junior training camps where he performed well enough to get picked to make the team and join the team going to Uzbekistan.

Along with another 12 -14 Ivanhoe students, Ashton is currently in the middle of Victorian Junior State Team trials, all have made the first cut and have one more level to make to be selected to attend the National Championships in Bendigo in September. Ashton is a certainty to make his State Team and it looks like another six to eight Ivanhoe students have a good chance to make the final cut in these state teams ranging from Under 14 through to Under 17 boys.

The impressive number of Ivanhoe athletes who have either achieved or come close to qualifying for the State team, as well as Ashton’s participation in the National team, is a testament to the success of Ivanhoe Grammar School’s Volleyball Program. This achievement is a well-deserved recognition of the hard work put in by numerous students who dedicate multiple days each week to their beloved sport of Volleyball.

“My volleyball career hasn’t been going for long but it’s going by fast as I have developed my skills starting off  by playing for fun in my Year 8 volleyball team with some friends I wasn’t really trying but as the season progressed I found a real interest for the sport and ended joining a development squad through the school training every Friday morning and Tuesday afternoon for around two terms in this time I really developed a love for the sport and found I had natural talent. As the first season came along I thought I’d try out to see if I could make it and I ended up getting accepted and playing with them every Saturday through the Firsts’ Team I made some great friends and really developed my skills to where they are now. Then at the end of 2022, I went out to Gold Coast to play in the Schools Cup Tournament through school and there I was seen by members of the Australian Institution of Sport and was asked to come to train with them for a week as a tryout for the national team, throughout the camp I learnt a lot of things refined my skills and was then further accepted into the Australian team to play just after the June July holidays in Uzbekistan this is a great opportunity for me to get some national experience and in future, I aspire to even play for Australia in the Olympics and playing oversea for Australia with help me achieve this goal, then furthermore to create a career out of volleyball,” said Ashton.

We are so proud of Ashton and wish him all the success in the upcoming Asian Championships.