Meet the Committee

 

PRESIDENT

Mark Bennett

Email: president@freezonevolleyball.org

Mobile: ‭+61 412 808 947‬

“Mala” first began his Freezone assocation way back in 2005 and has represented the club with great voracity and volume across ALL levels of play in the social and competitive volleyball gneres.   Mark has long been a valued member of the club and has been a social tour de force for members both new and old.  Hailing from Port Macquarie, Mark has reignited his volleyball passion from when he was a teenager in rural NSW and now boasts a healthy collection of teams, representations and distinguished interstate and international experience.

Mark has always been the leader of the dancing pack on and off the court. Always encouraging others to participate in the healthy camaraderie of volleyball and the wider implications of the club.

Mark has represented Freezone at numerous events and tournaments throughout Australia, including the World Regional Outgames in New Zealand in 2012. He has played on a number of teams and been at the forefront of helping to co-ordinate players and teams in tournaments both locally and interstate.  In 2013 Mala was awarded the MOST IMPROVED award as well as the BEST DRESSED prize in 2010.

His Committee obligations have seen him serve as Social Co-Ordinator, Venue Co-ordinator and Secretary since he joined the club and he has always been avidly involved in welcoming new players to the club and getting people involved in their initial experiences with our social training.  Mark has contributed greatly to the committee and the success of Freezone over the last 12 years.

Hard to miss – Mark is often the first person you will see (or hear) on the court and is an avid advocate for what Freezone provides to it’s members.

Mark was elected President in September 2018.


VICE PRESIDENT 

Stuart Mackay

email: vicepresident@freezonevolleyball.org

Stuart has been playing volleyball for 11 years now since moving to Australia from his native United Kingdom.  Beginning at Baulkham Hills Volleyball Club, Stuart found form quickly in the Representative Men’s Team for 5 consecutive seasons, captaining the team at State and National level.  Stuart went on to become a passionate Referee, sitting his state level indoor as well as participating in the National Level outdoor course.

Stuart came to Freezone in 2014 as part of the Freezone team competing at the 3rd Asia Pacific OUTGames in Darwin,  Northern Territory where he was part of the Gold Medal winning team.  Since then, Stuart has been an avid member of the club, participating in local, state and interstate competitions under the Freezone banner.

In 2014, Stuart was awarded the SUPPORTERS AWARD in 2014 for his continued support of the club and it’s affiliates in community events, promotional endeavours and in sourcing Sponsorship and support at Freezone events.  His natural leadership qualities see him instilling a supportive and instructive presence in the club and at trainings and events all over the state.  He has achieved regular recognition at interstate tournaments, national tournaments and is currently seeking admission to the board of SVNSW.

Stuarts business prowess is impressive with a CV as a Managing Director of 6 companies spanning across the Construction, Maintenance, Training and HR sectors, including being on the Board of Directors of the Hawkesbury Chamber of Commerce.  In 2017 Stuart took on a new career path in Interior Design.

Stuart served as Secretary on the Freezone Board appointed in April 2015 and after a short hiatus in September 2018 took on the newly formed position of Vice President.  Stuart is also Secretary of SVNSW and represents the State as a Lead Coach for the under 15’s State Girls team.


SECRETARY

Laura Barkly

Email: secretary@freezonevolleyball.org

Laura first arrived at the Freezone Courts in July 2018 having arrived from her native Ottawa, Canada, where she was heavily involved with the LGBTIQ volleyball scene.  Having started volleyball in Primary school, she fell in love with the sport and has continued to play at all levels right throughout her teenage and adult life.  She has very much enjoyed playing in weekend tournaments and meeting wonderful active people.

Laura has a fun, positive and hard working attitude which has served her well on both the volleyball court and her willingness to create amazing friendships through sport is a primary motivation for continuing her association with clubs all over the world.

Whilst Laura has only been in Australia since 2018 she hope to see the club continue to be a welcoming place and to have more members improving their skill as well as providing amazing tournaments that are the ‘talk of the town’.   Laura is also passionate about forming a women’s team to be included in the clubs State Squad program.

Laura was elected as Secretary in September 2018.


TREASURER

Andrew Wilmot

Email: treasurer@freezonevolleyball.org

Andrew first came to Freezone officially in 2013 when he moved to Sydney from Adelaide, South Australia.  Andrew has had a long association with Adelaide Spikers club since 2003 and was involved in the running of the club as President and committee member there for many years, hosting the annual Parri Estate FEAST Festival Tournament and collating scoring sheets and draws for the club.

Since arriving in Sydney “Big Willy” has become a great presence in the club, and particularly as part of the ‘Pandas’ Team, travelling to Melbourne and earning medal placings in tournaments there in 2013 with the Pandas. Andrew has also represented the club in 2018 with Freezone Blue Squad team at the NSW State Cup Series (Bronze medal), at the Miami Outgames in 2017 and recently as part of a united Melbourne/Sydney team at the Gay Games X in Paris. He has also played in teams at World Outgames 2006 (Montreal) & 2009 (Copenhagen).

Andrew came to the Freezone Committee in October 2014 as Teams Co-ordinator and since then has been an incredible asset in helping to place individuals into teams, and getting more people on the court in tournaments.  Andrew took over the collation of information for the Freezone Tournaments and getting teams registered and confirmed for the tournament operations.   He has also been very active managing the social media of the club and helping to create links and advertise events.

In 2016 Andrew was awarded the PRESIDENT’S AWARD for his work as Venue Co-ordinator and for creating an online platform for the operation of our tournaments.

In September 2018 Andrew took on the Treasurer position.


TEAMS COORDINATOR

Fernando Åraujo

Email: teams@freezonevolleyball.org

Fernando arrived in Australia in January 2017 and his first goal was to find a place where he could play volleyball when he found Freezone and joined the club in February 2017.

Born and raised in a small country town in the middle of Brazil called Santa Helena, Fernando lived there until he was 18 years old when he moved to a bigger city to attend college.  He started playing volleyball in 1992 inspired by the Brazilian men’s volleyball team gold medal in the Barcelona Olympics.

Fernando is possibly known by his teammates as a passionate and sometimes explosive player.

Fernando’s most memorable volleyball moment was when he participated in the Brazilian University Games in 2001. In this year, the university I attended was able to classify to the national for the first time in its history.

His most memorable Freezone moment was being part of an amazing team “the Mecca Studs”, representing Australia in the Paris Gay Games, bringing home the bronze medal.

Freezone has accomplished a lot over the years since its creation including being an inclusive community that embraces people from all over the globe. “My vision is that the club can continue with the same engagement to accept everyone and that we can create a program for players with little experience in which we can develop their abilities even further”.

Fernando joined the board in the September 2018 as Team’s Co-ordinator.

 


VENUE CO-ORDINATOR

Felix Eistrup

Email: venue@freezonevolleyball.org

Felix hails originally from Brazil where he was first introduced to volleyball at 9 years of age.  He lived in Germany for 10 years and has resided in Australia for 12 years.   Felix comes from a background in nursing and moved to Sydney after spending time around various city locations in Australia including Brisbane, Darwin and Far North Queensland.

Felix has always been a passionate team player and has been a welcome addition to the club since moving to Sydney in late 2016.  Felix has played all over Australia with mixed teams and always with a smiling happy albeit cheeky face.  His teammates describe him as “gorgeous – but then they are only human

Felix has been part of the newly formed State Squad for Freezone and has represented the club across the state.  In 2018 he represented Freezone at the Gay Games X in Paris taking Freezone to the international stage.  His favourite Freezone moment however is the Good Neighbour Final in 2017 which was a 5 set final.

Sassy and mouth when required, Felix is passionate and hopes to one day ‘get volleyball right‘.  He hopes to continue to grow the State Squad and include a complete compliment across 3 divisions.

Felix received the BEST FREEZONER award in 2017.

Felix joined the Board of Freezone in January 2018 as Secretary and in September 2018 was elected as Venue Co-ordinator.


SPONSORSHIP OFFICER

Anderson Vago

email: sponsorship@freezonevolleyball.org

Anderson is a long time member of Freezone Volleyball having joined the club back in 1998 when he arrived in Sydney, after searching for a Gay friendly Volleyball Club.   He was born and raised in the coastal city of Vitoria, Brazil, moved to Sydney in 1998.

An “energetic, competitive and fair…others may say overdramatic” player, Anderson was first inspired by his family in volleyball.  “My mother was an Estate volleyball player back in Brazil. I watched her games when I was a teenager and developed the passion for the sport then”.

Being Brazilian his passion for volleyball has been a lifelong commitment witha  highlight being able to watch Brazil win Women’s Volleyball Gold in the Beijing 2008 Olympics.

Anderson has represented Freezone in several sporting events nationally and Internationally (including the Chicago{2006} and Paris{2018} Gay Games) since his early days in 1998, earning several medals and more importantly, making friends who share the same passion for the sport.

Anderson’s hope for the club is “To continue to provide such a balanced approach to growth and volleyball skills to its members, no matter their skill levels. To aspire confidence, inspiration and in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie”

Anderson joined the board in May 2017 as Sponsorship Officer.

EVENTS CO-ORDINATOR

Louis Eudo

email: events@freezonevolleyball.org

‘LOU LOU’ is our iconic Frenchman of the club and has been bringing his unique joi de vivre to the courts of Freezone since March 2008.  Thoughquiet and demure (in a way) off the court, Louis makes his presence on court felt uniquely with his Gallic accents and exclamations when going for a hard pass or set.  Originally from St Doulchard in central France, Louis has been playing volleyball since 1996.  He is also our resident ‘BEARS CONNECTION’ being very active in the Harbour City Bears and their events throughout the year.

Louis’ representative career started out with Safe Sets White as so many of us did, learning and honing his skills before moving onto the Pandas and Pistons and playing in tournaments all over the state, including State Cup, as well as numerous Melbourne and Adelaide tournaments.  His most noted tournaments were the Wellington Asia Pacific Regional Outgames in 2010 and then his most treasured volleyball experience, Gay Games 9 in Cleveland Ohio where Louis played with a team of both Australians and Americans and had ‘the most amazing experience of my life so far’.

Louis is a long advocate of the values of Freezone, supporting the ideals of an accepting environment that allows people to not only be who they are, but also to discover who they are.  Arriving in Australia, Louis felt that the club provided him with exactly what he needed, a place to meet people and interact socially as well as in a comfortable sporting environment, as well as providing a ‘decent level of volleyball’.  He hopes to facilitate a club that keeps  welcoming people regardless of sexuality, gender or origin whilst providing the best volleyball and training possible.

Louis joined the board as Events Co-ordinator in September 2015 and since then has been actively promoting and creating a social presence for Freezone.  In 2016 he was awarded the BEST FREEZONER award for his ongoing commitment to the club and avid support across the many ranks of the clubs operations.

This club has been and continues to be a huge part of my life, and I hope to continue the good work of promoting it’s welcoming attitude and pursuit of personal best”


COMMUNITY OFFICER

Jeffrey Montellano

email: social@freezonevolleyball.org

Jeffrey is an avid sportsperson and is very active in many of the LGBTQI sporting arenas around Sydney including Ten Pin Bowling, Badminton and of course, Volleyabll.

Jeffrey has been a long time participant of Freezone coming to the club in 2014 from the Phillipines and jumping into the role of Venue Co-0rdinator in 2015, making his mark on the club as an organiser and supporter.  Jeffrey received the PRESIDENT’S AWARD in 2015 for his excellent contributions to the club as Venue Co-ordinator and instituting new guidelines for the Sunday Trainings.

Jeffrey has represented Freezone all over the club with teams in the State Cup Series, at interstate tournaments and at the Miami Outgames in 2017 and most recently as part of a united Melbourne/Sydney team at the Gay Games X in Paris.  He was also a founding member of the State Squad and has continued to play for all consecutive seasons.

‘JM’ has vivacious on court persona and his athletic prowess sees him as a most adaptable player with both OH and Middle capabilities.  He also has the tightest shorts in the club with perhaps the longest legs!

JM is always a welcoming face for the club and is always on hand to provide the ‘first contact’ point for the club.  Just look for the happy smiling PINOY FACE.

Jeffrey became Community Officer in 2018


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