Serving – spiking & setting in our community since 1982
Humble beginnings, name changes and a dedicated team of volunteers helped form Australia’s oldest gay volleyball club Freezone. The club has a focus on providing a friendly environment to all participants.
Commencing as the Southern Cross Outdoors Group Volleyball Club and training at Cleveland Street High School, Alexandria circa 1982, teams from the club first played in the East Sydney Volleyball Association competitions held at the University of New South Wales.
The Training Venue changed to Fort Street High School on Parramatta Road around 1986 and later that year the club fielded its first International squad at the 2nd International Gay Games in San Francisco. Since 1986, Freezone has sent at least one team to each of the Gay Games right through to 2014.
Fundraising and social get togethers have been part of the clubs history too as well as Beach Volleyball events for one and all!
The SCOG Volleyball Club became the Moore Park Volleyball Club which then became the Freezone Volleyball Association. Incorporation was forced on the club in 2003. It is now known as Freezone Volleyball Club Inc.
From such a foundation and proud history of fun, competition and social events the club has evolved and assisted in the promotion of our great sport. The club is a stand alone, incorporated body that is financially sound and well supported. The club has fielded men’s and women’s Teams in local competitions, including the UTS Social Volleyball, the Broadway Social Competition, SVNSW State Cups, Manly Cup, BHV Regional Cups, VACT Good Neighbour Tournament as well as our Sister club’s Melbourne Spikers and Adelaide Spikers tournaments throughout the year.
Freezone has a proud identity internationally with the first International medals being won at the 1994 New York Gay Games IV. In 1998 our Teams first played in Europe when the Gay Games went to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and then consequently in Chicago Gay Games 2006, Cologne 2010 and most recently Cleveland in 2014, where the club won silver in the BB Men’s Division.
The cosmopolitan flavour of the club has been around since its inception with players origins ranging from all over the globe. The club has run International Tournaments over the years where teams from Europe and North America have arrived! The greatest triumph however was for the club to be the host team at the VII Gay Games in Sydney in 2002.
The club today has players from backgrounds in Russia, Laos, Peru, France, Germany, the UK, Brazil, Mexico, USA, Canada, Thailand, New Guinea, Spain, Italy, Chile, Japan, Solomon Islands, Columbia, France, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, the Philippines, Germany, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Samoa, Argentina, Mauritius, the Netherlands, India, New Zealand, Fiji as well as Australia.
In 2006 several teams played in North America at Gay Games VII in Chicago, as well as at the OutGames in Montreal. Fundraising by the 3 teams playing in the North American Games, 1 B division, 1 C Division, and a Women’s Team, included the sale of drinks at Sunday Training, chocolates and various events.
Freezone has successfully competed at New South Wales State League and State Cup level. Winning several State Cup events between 2007 and 2010, and as runners up in SVL Div 2 and before winning the Div 2 Men’s final in 2009.
Teams competing interstate with the Melbourne Spikers, Adelaide Spikers and Canberra Good Neighbour Tournament regularly return with gold, silver or bronze medals in the various divisions.
The 2009 World Masters Games allowed older players the opportunity to compete against their age group peers on an international level. 3 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze medal by men and women in 30+ , 35+, 40+ and 45+ divisions puts Freezone’s status in the international social division pool ahead of most great volleyball nations.
Past & Present Club Presidents/Co-ordinators/co-Presidents:
- Rod Secomb xxxx – 1988
- Steven Godbee 1988 to Gay Games in 1990
- Dan Grossi 1990 – Gay Games VI Sydney: 2002
- Wally Salinger 2003-2006
- Wally Salinger & Warrick Chan 2006-2008
- Wally Salinger 2009 – 2012
- Boris To 2012 -2014
- Peter Furness 2014 – present
Our first Annual Awards Night was a wonderful success with more than 50 people in attendance, in 2007. Subsequent nights have grown in size and popularity, providing a platform to thank sponsors, partners, friends and relatives.
Club Life Members for services to Freezone are:
- Barry Webb – founding member and player from 1982 – 2010
- Dan Grossi – Club President and Team Sydney Volleyball Competition Organiser for the 2002 Sydney Gay Games
- Somkhit Jartnoi – Freezone member No. 1 – 1992 – present. For service and leadership to the Thai community and teams
- Julias Grant – player at local and interstate tournaments, for leadership of the Free Spirit team, and inclusion of new members.
- Yumes Pham-Vu – a long term supporter of the club and committee member. “Yumi” has played across numerous teams and served on the committee for over 10 years helping to shape the club and leave a lasting legacy.
2007 saw the successful integration of Kaiata and Freezone Volleyball Clubs; with Club teams ranked No2 in the State Cup tournaments in NSW. Up to 7 teams have played in local, interstate and international competitions over the course of the year. It was a proud momment for the Club President’s presentation to the B Div Girls team for their 2007 win in their division.
Major sponsors underpin the operation and finances of the club forming strong bonds within our community. We are thankful for the support of our sponsors, who make the day to day club operation easier. The Aids Council of NSW (ACON) and our various Tournament Sponsors (currently Mecca Espresso and TEAMM8 Leisurewear) ensure the ongoing support and financial viability of the club activities.
In 2011 The Sydney Star Observer was presented with a plaque to commemorate our relationship and thank the SSO Media Team for their ongoing support. Club members participate in forums, fundraising and attend ACON events to cement the bond of our two organisations in promoting the health and wellbeing of members of our community.
2012 saw the club expand into the local volleyball arena with Freezone re-igniting the clubs participation in the Manly Cup, Baulkham Hills Volleyball Club events and the State Cup Series. The introduction of the STATE SQUAD saw Freezone offering a higher level of training with a professional coach, initially Joe Seilman, followed by Bob Konakoff and currently under the instruction of Oscar Konakoff. This has seen the level of the club rise significantly to regular place in medals in the local competitions. The club also enjoys a warm relationship with our local community and now stands firm as a presence in the local volleyball population of NSW.
2013 saw Freezone collect it’s first GOLD MEDAL at a World Outgames Event in the B grade division at the 4th World OUTGames in Antwerp, Belgium. With two teams competing the club was well represented and enjoyed a wonderful journey competing alongside European teams from Germany, Canada, America, UK, Thailand, France and the Netherlands. This year also saw the club begin to consolidate the work from the State Squad with Medal Placings in the State Cup series and particularly the Good Neighbour Tournament in Canberra ACT.
2014 was a significant year, with teams taking GOLD in the Asia Pacific Regional OUTGames in Darwin, a SILVER in the BB division at the GAY GAMES in Cleveland, Ohio and numerous medals at the State Cup Series, Melbourne Spikers Tournaments, BHV State Cup Series and the Good Neighbour Tournament in Canberra, ACT. Freezone’s own tournaments grew to become two of the most popular tournaments in the local volleyball calendar with some 29-30 teams competing at both the Mardi Gras and Spring Tournaments hosted at Sydney’s Olympic Park Stadium.
Most notably in 2017 Freezone enacted changes to begin a ‘triple tier’ approach to our training and participation with the advent of the STATE REPRESENTATIVE SQUAD. Marie Skelton came on board as Head Coach of the club and instilled a new regimen of training and commitment with the aim to compete at the Div 1 level of State cups. The Squad has been instrumental in attracting new and highly skilled talent into the club and allowing our top players to find an avenue for play as well as imparting skills and development of our club at other levels.
The club always enjoys a healthy mix of ethnicities, sexual identities including Bi and Transgender as well as our wonderfully supportive heterosexual crew. We have a broad palate of people who all come together in the spirit of equality and integrity to compete, socialise, interact and participate in our common goals. The club currently has 110 registered members and is always willing to bring people into the fold.