NEW ZEALAND YOUTH VOLLEYBALLERS CHASE OLYMPIC DREAM
Wellington, New Zealand, October 7, 2018 -The New Zealand Youth Olympic Games volleyball team have settled into the athlete village at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
The men’s team of Keegan Joe and David Jeffrey, both of New Plymouth, and the women’s team of fellow Taranaki teen Maya Dickson and Tamara Otene have arrived in Buenos Aires ahead of the Games which open on Saturday in Argentina.
With the world’s top young athletes set to take to the beach volleyball arena in Green Park, New Zealand’s talent are no stranger to success.
Dickson and Otene are currently sitting at the number one seed for Asia and line up at the games as the Oceania under 19 beach champions.
At 17 years old, Maya Dickson sees the Games as a valuable opportunity, having had her eye set on the Youth Olympic Games since attending a high performance camp two years ago.
“I’m excited to get over there and compete, every time you put that New Zealand shirt on it’s awesome.”
17-year-old Joe and 18-year-old Jeffrey are also no strangers to success with a silver medal at the under 19 Oceania Beach Championships. The pair then competed in separate teams at the U19 Beach Volleyball World Championships in China, where Joe placed 17th equal and Jeffrey 37th equal.
Joe, who represented New Zealand last year at the Commonwealth Youth Games said he was excited to have arrived in the athlete village.
“It’s amazing to finally get to the village and see so many athletes from so many different countries.”
Jeffrey and Joe are coached by Joe’s father AJ who has been coaching volleyball for almost 20 years. He said the pair were thrilled to finally be at the Games and were relishing the experience, particularly the food hall and accommodation.
“The day has finally arrived and it’s a unique opportunity to experience being part of a wider squad and New Zealand team.”
Dickson and Otene are coached by New Zealand junior women’s coach Fiona Scrimshaw of Harbour Volleyball. Scrimshaw has been coaching for around eight years at club and national level.
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be the third summer youth Games, following those in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing in 2014. The Games are a pre-elite development opportunity for the world’s most promising young athletes, allowing them to experience a multi-sport games environment while exposing them to learning and cultural opportunities and helping them on the performance pathway.
The Youth Olympic Games begin this Sunday (NZT) October 6 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, with the beach volleyball competition running from 7 – 17 October.
For more information, see Olympic.org.nz