Freezone Volleyball wishes everyone a happy and safe December and we will start afresh in January 2019. Stay tuned to the website as well as the FB page – https://www.facebook.com/freezonevolleyball/ for tournaments, training sessions, competitions, social events and more to make next year our busiest and best ever!
The State Squad Term 2 for 2018 has been named and we have a wonderful returning compliment of players rejoining with some new faces coming along as well.
The tryouts were a great affair with some new people coming along and showing their hand for the program. With only one tryout Coach Marie was really looking to combine people and get them playing alongside each other. The impressive thing was having a few of our female players coming along for the tryouts – very encouraging for furthering the program into 2019.
The level of volleyball on offer for this, the 3rd term of the State Squad program was a wonderful offering and the focus of the participants as well as the level of volleyball was notably higher, more intense and had a real purpose to it. With any program it’s important to see it building and growing with participants and skill level and the tryouts are showing that this is the case.
This term the squad is trying something different and going with a full compliment of 18 full players. The ‘tournament subs’ are still on offer but the increase in participants is to give the squad some real depth and allow Coach Marie to apply a ‘bench’ to the game situation. This will allow for being able to play the best possible team at any one time and gain a better understanding of specialist positions and optimal fitness of the players over an entire tournament and season.
The program for this year will take in 3 tournaments and 9 weeks of intense training. New President Mark Bennett is actively supervising proceedings alongside Coach Marie and we are also seeing the introduction of a new assistant coach – Kelly McLeod to the mix. Kelly will be on hand to assist Head Coach Marie in her duties and tournament responsibilities.
We look forward to seeing what the new squad offers for 2018.
It was a well populated affair with 2 Life Members in attendance as well as some new and fresh faces on the floor. The Presidents Report was submitted by Mdm President, Peter Furness in his final report as President. The report outlines a highly successful year for Freezone with 3 tiered training programs, securing new venues for 2019, a healthy representation of teams across multiple events and a continuing and growing relationship with our primary sponsor as well as growing the sponsorship portfolio to include local business’. A growing membership has maxed out again this year and the club stands to solidly continue to grow and offer diverse programs in the coming year.
Treasurer Rafael Montellanos presented his final financial report as Treasurer as after 3 years, he will not be re-nominating for the coming year. The fiscal health of the club is back to a solid performance with a consistent growth and financial standing for the 2018FY showing a secure platform for the financial operations of the club with the club giving significant increases in social activities and sponsorship funding of players unrivalled in the previous years of the club.
Nominations were called for all board positions and for the first time in possibly 12 years, there were multiple nominations from the floor with a ‘vote’ having to be held to secure new positions. This was a new occurence and the Chairperson was ‘shocked’ and a little perplexed as to exactly what had to be done. However it was wonderful to have so many people putting their hands up for Committee positions including a new position being created – that being Vice President.
At the conclusion of the event, a new President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, Venue Co-Ordinator, Teams Co-ordinator and Community Officer were all nominated as well as returning members from 2018 in the Events and Sponsorship roles.
- President: Mark Bennett
- Vice President: Stuart Mackay
- Secretary: Laura Barkly
- Treasurer: Andrew Wilmot
- Sponsorship Officer: Anderson Vago
- Teams Co-ordinator: Fernando Araujo
- Venue Co-ordinator: Felix Eistrup-Santos
- Events Co-ordinator: Louis Eudo
- Community Officer: Jeffrey Montellanos
We wish the new committee well and would like to thank those departing the committee for their hard years of work and commitment in the Executive Roles.
Late July saw many of the Freezone crew getting excited and prepared as they began to make their way to Europe for the 10th Gay Games in Paris, France. A number of teams and individuals from Freezone have been planning for this quadrennial event for some months so there was a great deal of excitement brewing as the days finally arrived to head to the French capital in preparation for this massive event.
Over 10,000 athletes had registered for the Games so the hype was huge and the vibe was electric. The volleyball competition was scheduled to run for 5 days with 2 days of pool play, followed by a double elimination round after that and finals being played on the Friday.
The Commandos, the Mecca Studs, Sydney Phoenix were all registered Sydney teams in B grade and there were also participants in the Melbourne/Sydney Itchy Bitchy and Team United players in B grade and again in BB with Kaiata.
Paris was almost burning with scorching temperatures predicted for the weeks play and the Gymnase Louis-Lumiere was not a breezy venue. With 120 volleyballers packed into 6 courts, it was heavy going for the opening days of play and plenty of sweat was exuded.
It was however, wonderful at one point to look across the stadium and see 3 Freezone teams all competing side by side at this international competition. Many fard fought matches were concluded and at the end of the pool play Freezone teams were ranked in 4th/7th and 9th positions. It was a case of running from court to court to try and get a glimpse of all the Freezoners in action.
TEAM ITCHY BITCHY
The Mecca Studs had arrived in Europe a week before the games to get used to the climate and do some real ‘bonding’ time. The crew from the 2010 Cologne Gay Games were still going with one/two (a few) extra people joining the crew for this edition. Pool Play was very much about trying to find a groove, working with a new setter, Roberto Scarano and then piecing together a strategy with a team that was having their first hit-out. The Studs pool were strong and we had some tough matches but managed to find some good form and finish in 7th position after pool play.
The Studs then found themselves up against good teams, including a revenge match against the Swiss team that had beaten them earlier in the week. They managed to get over the line against them and found themselves in the Top 8 without having moved to the losers bracket. Finals day arrived and it was a tough call against the strong Melbourne Peacocks who hadn’t dropped a game all tournament to stay in the winners bracket. After losing to Melbourne it was sudden death – against the Sydney Peacocks. One set, instant elimination. Studs were down but Coach Marie (secret weapon) stepped up and changed defence lines and geared up the team to bring the celebratory attitude which ultimately saw them come from behind against Phoenix and win the set 25/22.
The next match was against the United team that had some Freezone talent in there. Another tough game but the serving and ‘W defence’ worked well and enabled the Studs to ‘come from behind again’ as they ran away to a 25/21 victory. The medal match loomed, with Studs having to defeat the Brazilian Miami crew to get into the gold medal match against Peacocks on Friday. A tired and spent crew fought amiably but couldn’t quite close out the final set losing 20/25. The crew were so elated though, having fought incredibly hard with injuries aplenty and ageing bodies, the thrill of coming together and bonding with each other on court and never losing focus made the Studs feel like they had won a gold! Bronze was just as sweet!
Our State Squad Div 2 team played alongside the Purple Reign in their 4th State Cup for this season. It was a good first day with some good wins and a good solid start to their campaign. The team gelled well having yet another different line up for their season with libero super star ‘Zach” Fu Sheng Hsu stepping into the line up alongside Felix, Stuart, JM, Big Willy, Carl.
The 2nd day saw a tougher day and some injury issues forced the Blue’s to reshuffle their line up and substitute a setter to come in for their medal playoff. It was a hard call with regulations preventing a sub at first but then having the chance to sub in a rogue setter from the Honours Women’s division. With a new setter it took a little while for everyone to get used to new hands but the team put up a great fight against some other Freezoners playing in the Miss Thailand team. The bronze medal playoff was a harder affair with Felix Eistrup standing into the setters position after an injured Carl Pahina had to retire. It was a hard fought affair where the Div 2 team performed admirably but were just edged out by of their 4th medal finish for the State Squad opening term. Not a bad record!
The Div 1 team came into the competition with a new group – again! With a new recruit in Dan Devine, the core crew of Lucas, Anderson, Robertas, Fernando, Samuel and Peter looked a little like a mini Brazil. The boys had some tough games but it was a great start out as the crew found form against teams that they had met in earlier competitions. The scoreboard revealed close games of 25/22, 25/23, 27/25- the Div 1 boys had obviously found their rhythm. Mdm President Pete filled in the libero position and we had some height in our middles as well as some wonderful slide attacks from our resident Lithuanian Robertas.
The 2nd day saw the crew come in with determination and Coach Marie pushed forward her agenda of early starts, 30min warmups and shuttle runs to make sure the boys were switched on and ready. A narrow loss to the UTS crew put the boys out of any chance of making medals however, the last game against ASIMS saw the crew bringing a performance that was much needed. A solid 2 set win against the tought ASIMS boys was a great way for the crew to finish on and a real determination to continue training for the coming interval period between State Squads.
The Central Coast State Cup is the start of a very busy period for the Autumn of 2018 that sees a flurry of tournaments in various locations up until the start of Sydney Volleyball League in May 2018.
Our new State Squad took off to the Peninsula Leisure Centre in Woy Woy and the Scholastic Sports Stadium in Terrigal to compete in the Div 2 and Div 1 competitions on the first weekend in April. With Coach Marie Skelton in tow the crew were coming together for the first time with new players joining the squad including some returning blood for Freezone back into the club.
2 days of competition and some very competitive pools formed up for the 2 days of play over the weekend and both teams had the chance to come together for the first time and play ‘tournament volleyball’.
FZ White had steady start that was ever increasing over the first days play. Communication between new players is always key when it comes to playing for the first time, especially at this level, where a few missed points makes all the difference in momentum and game play. Just knowing who is precisely going to be in charge of getting that rogue ball or who is running exactly what play is the element that has to be figured out when you are new and each new set saw the boys finding their feet. 50min goes very quickly when you are finding your feet. The FZ White team rallied and Coach Marie tried numerous different combinations and rotations with everyone playing different positions to find the best fit. By the 3rd game the combinations were beginning to work and the Whites had their first ‘win’ of the day.
On the second day the boys came out firing and close sets were the result. A win over the Housecats was a great confidence booster moving into the final pool game against UNSW. Unfortunately the UNSW was marred with a loss of our Middle Hitter Dion Ofa. A slippery floor saw Dion hit the ground and a broken ankle was the result. Dion in true fashion was very nonchalant about it all but he was taken to hospital and then has been transferred to Concord in preparation for surgery on Thursday. We wish him a speedy recovery.
FZ Blue were the success story of the weekend. Their campaign was a star studded performance on paper, not dropping a set in their pool games and leading to the top of the pool. They had some stiff competition in some matches but managed to hold their nerve and their skill as they blitzed the competition. There were some tight games that allowed them to figure out how best to rely on each other and find that competitive drive and aggression that is advantageous to the game. Finishing their final game on the first day they were full of confidence but aware that they would have to win their semi to have the easiest path to the finals.
The second day saw the boys come out fighting in their semi final and take a solid lead which they consolidated to move straight into the gold medal match later in the afternoon. The final against UNSW was going to be a thriller and it didn’t disappoint. The cheer squads were out and the calibre of volleyball on both sides of the court had some impressive depth. The first set was tight after a shaky start from our boys which saw them 6 points down, but after fighting back to an even points at 15 all, FZ Blue got a good lead late in the set due to some great serving from Charlie Pahina and Stuart Mackay and solid attacking from Felix Eistrup and JM Montellano to take the set convincingly.
The 2nd set was a tougher gig and once again a few service errors and solid attacking from the other side of the net saw the Blues drop to a 7 point deficit. A big fight to come back, but they did manage to peg back the lead to a few points but were ultimately unable to overcome some very impressive middle hitting from UNSW. The stage was set for an ultimate 3rd set and both camps were ‘geed’ up and ready to go. It was literally point for point for much of the set with FZ reaching a 8-7 lead to change ends with the lead. UNSW came out hard and then looked set to get away with the win with more solid Middle hitting and a 14-10 lead. It was all or nothing and Coach Marie was constantly coaxing the lads to ‘not be timid’ and bring out all the stops. FZ Blue set up good defence and the refusal to let the ball drop saw them win the next 4 points to bring it to a 14-14 tie.
It was hot, it was tight and it was a very loud gym! UNSW were sending everything to their Outside hitter but the blocking from Blue was efficient enough to slow the play down and keep the points going. A deep set to the outside that flew into the net from the hitter brought the Blues victory 16-14 in the third. The team were elated and ecstatic and the victory high was a great start to the season for the blues. We are super proud of their achievement and hope they can take this feeling into the season all the way through to Newcastle.
The next tournament will be the Manly Cup in late April. Both teams will again line up and be ready and more cohesive having played this first tournament together. Coach Marie will no doubt be formulating some impressive training for the boys leading up the next tournament and we look forward to the next chance to prove ourselves.
In February 2018 Freezone Volleyball Club is very proud to announce an ongoing sponsorship with Struddys Sports based in Brisbane. Freezone have been using Struddys for some time (since 2011) and their quality playing jerseys and hoodies have been used by Freezone for many tournament teams and the last 2 years as our official club uniforms.
Struddys have come on board to support Freezone as Uniform Sponsors for the next 3 years and will supply our club uniforms, State Squad playing jerseys and other team merchandise moving towards 2020. The deal was announced just before our Mardi Gras Mixer and they also came on board as tournament sponsors donating our ‘Best Dressed Prize’ for the tournament.
Freezone is very excited to be moving forward and securing this deal with our uniform suppliers. Mdm President Peter Furness said “we have used Struddy’s for some time now and I’ve always been super impressed with their ability to produce quality gear, on time and be flexible enough to be on demand when we have had to get things moving quickly. It’s a real pleasure to be working with Ben and the team at Struddys who have been supporting the club for almost 7 years now.”
Struddys clothing is always of great quality and with all the playing that we do, we have certainly put their stuff to the test. Ben Neale Marketing and Sales Manager for Struddys said “it was an easy decision when we looked at the history of Freezone with our company to take our relationship to the next level” Their range includes many different options with full sublimated printing and playing jerseys with top quality fabrics, right down to a budget easy kit that wears well and is basic for those one off tournaments and special events. And – they do EVERYTHING, right down to your sports bags.
The online design shop on the website makes it super easy to mock up your own designs with logos, nametags, icons and personal particulars and have everything approved by their online design team before going to production. They are very clear and thorough and flexible enough to be able to piece together the particulars required for FIVB standard uniforms.
Freezone members will recieve special discount codes to use on their kit for the next 3 years and the club will be using Struddy’s to supply our club uniforms moving to 202o and beyond. Contact the Freezone Board for information on kitting out your team with quality team wear for a fraction of the cost of other online retailers.
Check out their website and have a look at everything that is available. Just in time for Gay Games!!!!!!
It was all things RAINBOW at Netball Central on 24th February as Freezone took over the venue in a blaze of rainbow coloured greatness. We had a fantastic return to the merriment of our Mardi Gras theme with a great day where everyone got into the spirit of the LGBTQI community and supporting our Mardi Gras Mixer
To all the players & supporters who played, we appreciate your continued support of our tournaments. Freezone Volleyball Club has always had one of its aims as encouraging players from all levels & experiences to enjoy volleyball and play together – and we achieved this again last Saturday.
The LGBQTI friendly event was conducted in the best spirit of good sportsmanship and great competition for all of the matches. Here is a snapshot of the day by numbers …. 4455 minutes of volleyball, 230+ players, 80+ matches, 30 teams, 10kg of pears, 6 boxes of apples, 9 courts and 5 divisions of match play.
It was quite a task getting the draw in order as the highly sought after venue was being shared between 3 sporting groups, but we managed to still complete a full day of play including our womens draw who bandied together and played 4 hours of volleyball straight over 2 courts to ensure they had a competition.
Freezone we would like to again congratulate the gold medal teams from each division who all played lots of great volleyball throughout the day and also recognise the efforts of the MVP award winners as well. But truly it was wonderful to have everyone playing volleyball in such a warm friendly and FABULOUSLY FURTIVE way on the day. Our rainbow themed uniforms were wondeful
It was particularly wonderful to have 4 teams of our Melbourne Spikers Sisters in the competition and who travelled down for the event. Special thanks to Volleyball Victoria for their assistance in ensuring we were able to accommodate our sister club in such numbers. It was great to have so many ‘SPIKERS’ at the day and we hope you continue to come back in all your glitterati glory.
Special thanks to the committee (Mark, Louis, Andrew, Rafael, Stuart and Felix) who worked throughout the day to tirelessly ensure that the games ran smoothly. I think it was an achievement for the first year ever that we were actually 5min AHEAD OF TIME in the afternoon sessions. (Someone got a little trigger happy on the hooter). A big thank you also to Somkhit Jartnoi for his help with the fruit and Wororat Chumsuwan for arranging our fabulous MARDI GRAS MEDALS. I would also like to thank all the members of Freezone and those helpers who came early and helped us with duties and assisting with net changes throughout the day. It really was a wonderful team effort!
A big shout out to our volunteers (Jamie, Lilly, Israel, Gareth, Laurent and Fernando) who ensured we had an extra duty crew to help run the womens competition. A club is only as good as its volunteers and we are so grateful for your time and energy. Also a big thank you to our referees who came to adjudicate our finals.
Of course, the tournament wouldn’t run without our primary sponsor ACON and their help in ensuring our club keeps on moving forward. We are always grateful for the involvement of Gavin and the crew at ACON for their help.
Big shout outs to Australian Volleyball Warehouse, Officeworks Glebe, Mecca Espresso, Taylors Wines and Struddy’s Sports for their kind and generous donations to our tournament as tournament sponsors. We hope everyone visits the links on the website to get supplies from those who support us.
We were so thrilled to have such a wonderful turnout and on a personal note, it was such a great tournament to have as my final tournament as President of the club. What a wonderful way to go out!
We look forward to hosting everyone back in our September SPRING FLING which we hope to make bigger and bring even more fabulousness with it. But save your rainbow crew for next year as we go for gold again with our Mardi Gras Theme.
Gold – The Dingo Ate My Purse / Silver – ACERS / Bronze – Spiked Punch
MVP – Justin St Pierre
Gold – United / Silver – Acers / Bronze – Cherries On Top
MVP – Paolo Delpino
Gold – Team Merry / Silver – MFS Pugs / Bronze – Phi Pho Epho
MVP – Andrew Nguyen
Gold – T-Birds / Silver – Blue Jays / Bronze – Sydney Phoenix
MVP – Rata Joseph
Gold – Acers Ikemen / Silver – Acers 5 / Bronze – Acers 4
MVP – Jayvee Davin Shinjiro
The sun shone and the rain stayed away on December 3 for the Freezone Annual Christmas Picnic and Awards Ceremony. A healthy gathering of Freezoners assembled in the Moore Park BBQ area opposite the Sydney Boys High School on Sunday Dec 3 for a day of feasing, frivolity and a little bit of recognition of our most iconic persons for the year.
Louis Eudo once again provided a wide array of foods with a distinct ‘white theme’ to cater for the appetites of all the Freezoners and once again there was ‘food for days’. A great way to celebrate the end of the 2017 volleyball year.
The lawn court went up and a great day of sunny volleyball was enjoyed well into the afternoon even as the heat began to intensify. As always, refreshments were on hand to quell any thirst or dehydration. It was also wonderful to have friends and family members coming along and sharing in the day with all our diversity, inclusion and crazy antics.
It was wonderful to have our Life Members present including the original Freezoner – Barry Webb accompanied by Daniel Grossi in attendance. Freezone’s 40something year history was well represented and we were very grateful for Barry and Dan coming along.
The awards for 2017 were handed out by Mdm President Furness after first acknowledging the hard work done by the committee for 2017. Stuart Mackay, Rafael Montallanos, Louis Eudo, Mark Bennett, Andrew Wilmott, Jeffrey So and our General Officer and Grand Pooh Baa – Somkhit Jartnoi. A club is only as good as it’s volunteers and it is a blessing to have such people giving up their time and investing their energy into the club the whole year round to constantly keep the club evolving.
Our awards recipients for the year were a deserving bunch and it is always a pleasure to highlight the contributions of club members and give them some recognition.
Premier Awards: Each recipient receives annual Freezone Membership to Freezone Volleyball
Best Newbie – Fernando Peres. Fernando definetly has a passion for volleyball and after only a short time with the club, he’s been very active joining any team he can for whatever tournament including away tournamnets and also in attending fundraising events and keeping Freezone’s identity out in the community.
Most Improved – Brian Chase-Olsen. Brian has been avidly attending tournaments over the past few months and demonstrating that he has been listening during our Wednesday night Open Trainings. His performance at the recent Adelaide Spikers Tournament showed just how much he has progressed since starting with Freezone in 2016 and we are very happy to see him developing his knowledge and experience on court.
Supporters Award – Dayle Bennett
Whilst Dayle may not be a playing member of Freezone, he is very much a part of the Freezone Family. Dayle is always present at Freezone functions and has regulalry helped out at Tournaments behind the desk and from being on hand to provide support. This contribution is so valuable to a club and is worth recognising.
Prestige Awards: Each recipient receives annual Freezone Membership along with registration with SVNSW paid for by the club.
Best Freezoner – Felix Eistrup. It’s almost strange to think of Freezone not having had the benefit of Felix’s charm, wit and banter for the past 4 years. Felix regularly attended tournaments playing with FZ teams and also brought his teams from Brisbane along to participate. Since moving to Sydney 18 months ago, Felix has brough a wo
nderfully friendly face to our regular sessions and has been a part of many teams including the newly formed State Squad. His willingness to offer support and bring peopel to the club has been constant and he is always around attending events and sponsored activities. A worth recipient of this award.
Most Valuable Player- Dudley Birch Dudley has been part of the Freezone crew for many years, playing with our treasured SPIKED PUNCH crew at tournaments at the local and State level. Even with the new responsibilities of being a Dad, Dudley has maintained a presence and is always around to be part of teams and push to compete at tournaments and represent the club. An adaptable and versatile player, he contributes to any game and is always a welcoming and encouraging player.
Presidents Award – Jeffrey So Jeffrey has been a prominent Freezoner for over 143+years representing the club at the local, state and international level with 4 Gay Games under his belt. Jeffrey has served on numerous committees as Secretary, Socail Co-ordinator and most recently as Sponsorship officer, maintaining much needed connection with our primary sponsor ACON as well as recruiting new sponsorships for tournaments and the club in general. Jeffrey’s work spans many years of contribution and whilst not the loudest presence, he has always worked in the background ensuring the success of Freezone as a club and as an organisation. Recognition of his many years of contribution, Jeffrey is a most valuable recipient of this award.
The annual VACT Good Neighbour Tournament was held over the 25th/26th November in Canberra and it was as usual, a large scale event that saw over 4 teams of Freezoners competing at the Australian Institute of Sport. 2 full days of volleyball action and lots of ups and downs and triumphs for all Freezone teams but a wonderful representation of the cluh at the largest Volleyball Tournament in Australia.
The State Squad were eagerly represented by new look FZ Blue/Red teams with new players being added at the last minute to fill in for spaces that were left vacant at the last minute. Coach Marie was scrambling to try and fill positions and have full teams for the competition and was nearly forced to resort to combining the teams. Thankfully a few eager players were able to volunteer and two full teams were lodge. FZ Red competed in Division 2 amongst a very strong pool and experienced teams. The Division 2 was the most popular division with 18 teams in the draw and FZ Red acquitted themselves very well with a strong performance in the pools at the beginning of the competition. At the outset they were competitive and perhaps a little slow to get off the mark, they dropped a set against the team from Kelso who actually ended up winning the pool and progressing to the finals.
It showed how you cannot afford to take the pressure off in any game as the Reds were left feeling that they should really have won that game outright. Their position on Day 2 was 3rd but they only lost one game in the pool play section. Their crossover game was against a tough team from UNSW. The game was a to and fro affair with 8-8 in the third set when the whistle blow. Unfortunately for Red, they lost by 1 point on a point count-back but certainly did themselves proud by putting together good combinations and working hard to maintain their level of play at this level. Sensible play and hard fought rallying worked for them in the end and you could see the consolidation of training that has come from the past 10 weeks of squad training under Coach Marie.
Division 3 was a Freezone Favourite with Free Punch (combination of Free Spirit and Spiked Punch) competing alongside FZ Blue from the State Squad. Both teams had strong performances Finishing 2nd and 1st respectively in their pools. Indeed it was an all Freezone Semi Final with the two teams facing off to try and make it to the Gold medal final. It was a to and fro affair in the final which was hard fought with FZ Blue almost taking the match out in the 2nd set only to have Free Punch claw their way back into the game and force the match into a third set. The final set was a test of who had the legs to finish strong and it was a new look FZ Blue that triumped strongly in the end as they got away to an early lead and just kept the momentum up and finished looking VERY strongly in the 3rd set.
The gold medal final saw FZ Blue come up against the ACERS from Sydney with a very strong, young and competitive team in the gold medal match. This was definetly FZ Blue’s day. It was most exciting to be sitting court-side and watching this game as both teams (and their cheer sq
uads) were in full voice with a battle of wills as much as a battle of volleyball. The Blues knew they had to play hard and strong in this game if they were going to challenge the “Filo team”. It was obvious from the outset that Blue had to maintain a positive mindset and not let the loss of points get to them. This they achieved with great aplomb. Despite often being outmatched in skill, the Blues held fast and played their own game, passing incredibly well which allowed them to run good offensive play. A real deciding factor. They took the first set in a flurry of strong, accurate serving, great scrambling and crushing offensives from all 3 positions in the front court. They certainly shook the other team who quickly realised that this was not going to be an easy win.
Both teams came out in the next set firing and the passion on both sides of the net was palpable. It was a rapid to and fro affair with ACERS taking out the set and bringing the game into an even set. The game ensued with players from each side having to dive and dig deep in an effort to keep the ball alive and in play. Dips and troughs ensued and team spirit was the one thing that kept everyone going. The fitness of the crew proved a vital asset, with no subs to call on, every player in the FZ team had to continue to dig deep to keep the momentum. Laughter and chanting became a big part of the crews ability to suck it in and keep digging. The final result saw Acers take the GOLD but the FZ crew felt so elated and excited and blessed with having performed a gruelling and wonderfully fulfilling game for a silver medal.
The end of the tournament saw some great performances and happy faces. The club was once again very well represented and received the accolades of having competed intensly over the 2 days. As always it was a long and weary drive back to Sydney in preparation for the end of the year. The crew certainly did well and we look forward to another great year in 2018 for the State Squad and the club in general.
Canberra was the scene for the first tournament tryout with our new look State Squad. FZ Red and Blue teams travelled to the nation’s capital to play in Canberra Cup on the 13th October hosted by Rebecca Hillier and her crew at the Canberra Volleyball League. With a small tournament in play, the Red and Blue teams were looking to work out their kinks and trials and put all the training from Coach Marie Skelton into practice.
A few last minute adaptions for the Red team saw them playing with only 6 players as Juan Camillo was involved in a car accident in the early hours of Saturday morning. Thankfully he is ok, although his nose was broken. So Red were reduced to no libero with only 6 in playing mode. FZ Blue had more of a full compliment with their full team and were able to put their liberos to good use and have full rotations.
With both teams having never played together, it was a case of figuring out the kinks and where to play who and with what combination. Coach Marie was on her feet all day pacing the side of the court with each game and ensuring there was leadership from the sidelines. It was certainly a learning curve as we experienced having that outside influence who was targetting plays, noting defense strategies and leading the charge in sensible and effective play. Marie certainly had her work cut out for her as we notched up play against two other teams. The toughtest call was where both Red and Blue were playing against each other in a pool game. Friendly competition and strategy was employed and both teams had their moments. Both good and bad. But this is the norm when you first play together and so there were lots of moments of victory combined with lots of moments of some confusion.
All in all the weekend was a good success as Coach Marie got to see how her teams performed under pressure and in the competitive field rather than just being at training. “Volleyball is an errors game and it is ultimately the team that makes less errors that wins the match. Some of us dealt better with that pressure and also there was the element of experience in those situations that showed up” . In terms of results, FZ Blue encountered a tough 3 set bronze playoff in their final game where they began to string some of the elements that Marie has been working on together. The progress of the day saw the Blues begin to get used to foreign rotations and switching between roles to understand where best their strengths lay. Whilst they may not have won their games, they certainly learnt about how to play together at that higher Div 1 level. FZ Blue went through to the Gold Medal Playoff against a younger BHV Colts line up. With only 6 players, the younger team had perhaps more gas in the tank in the final. They were a strong team who had obviously played together for a longer time. The final set of the 2 set final went down to the wire 25-23 and the Reds were on the offensive with some good tactical play being led from Coach Marie. It may have been a little too much to expect to win their first tournament hit out but they came very close and have certainly set up an eagerness to face off against the BHV team in future tournaments.
The weekend has shown how much the Squad needs to come together to be able to be competitive at these levels. The commitment of the teams to ensuring that ‘team play’ is together and supported and that the positional play and training that has been enforced at training can be taken onto the court is paramount. It was exciting to have the squad there supporting each other and trying to help each other perform. That team unity was evident from the start. It’s going to be exciting to see where the squad can go from here and already there is a good understanding that this is a process and that there is much to learn and understand. The squad will continue to learn and train and have their 2nd hitout at the State Cup #6 in 2 weeks time.
It was a full compliment of teams on Saturday 1st October as Freezone hosted its annual Spring Fling Tournament with 32 teams across 5 divisions converging on Netball Central in Homebush. This was the 2nd time we have had the chance to host an event at the new centre and it certainly brings with it an air of kudos with the facilities being top notch. An early start saw 9 courts in action and plenty of fun filled focus for a long day of volleyball. This year we had a large run on entries in our Men’s A Grade competition so there was a little jumbling of courts and mixing up the draw to accomodate for the top heavy mens competitons. We had our usual Mixed and Women’s comps and glad to say we still ran our recreational competition with teams forming around 2 weeks before the competition.
The competition ran on throughout the day and whilst there were some slip ups on the technical side of operating the systems from command central we managed to keep the schedule happening. Unfortunatley we weren’t able to maintain this into the afternoon with games running late and duty teams disappearing but most of the competitions did manage to make it through the day with every team playing at least 5 games! This meant that there were a lot of tired bodies around and about and this new formula certainly gave a great deal of volleyball play during the day.
One of the most promising aspects of operating a Freezone Competition is to get people into their first tournament experience. With the club expanding to a new membership maximum and our beginners level training on Sunday starting to have effects, many of the players in teams in recreational and men’s B grade were first time participants. This is a result that Freezone is very proud of – giving people the chance to have their first taste tournament volleyball and enjoy all the responsibilities of duty, turning around and playing games in succession and getting up at the end of the day to play that last game and play hard with vigour. To all those people who were recruited into teams, we hope that you were provided with a great first experience and that you will be back for more in the consecutive tournaments operated by Freezone and our sister clubs in Melbourne and Adelaide.
Special thank you to our tournament scorer Rafael Montellanos and to our committee, many of whom were involved in playing on freshly made up teams and giving our newer players some experience on their teams and providing leadership. We look forward to hosting you all again in February 2018 for our Mardi Gras Mixer!
It was a small but dedicated quorum who attended the Freezone AGM on Sunday 8th October where nominations to the board were received for the calendar year 17-18.
The wrap up of the previous years achievements were a glowing affair with membership figures hitting an unprecedented 115 members, our largest ever membership haul. The club stands in a great position with financial surety and a budget surplus for the year which we look to be investing into new initiatives for the club in the near future.
Much of the success of the 16-17 year can be attributed to the committee who have been consistently serving the club for the last 3 years. I am happy to report that all excluding one member renominated their positions this year and this consistency of leadership has allowed the club to put plans into place that have ensured the ongoing success and support of the club with ‘hands on deck’ support that ensures operations happen smoothly and the direction of the club is always at the forefront of the committees deliberations.
Re-nominations were received and the Committee for 2017-18 will be made up of:
President: Peter Furness
Secretary: Stuart Mackay
Treasurer: Rafael Montellanos
Venue Co-ordinator: Mark Bennett
Events Officer: Louis Eudo
Teams Co-ordinator: Andrew Wilmot
Sponsorship Officer: unfulfilled
The meeting was also marked with the indication that the current President (Peter Furness) will be resigning at the next AGM in 2018. With Mdm President having served on the board for 9 years (10 years in September 18) it is time for new blood to take direction of the club and move it forward towards 2020.
The coming weeks will see the new committee continuing to meet as we begin to roll out new changes and directions for the club. With Gay Games X on the calendar for 2018, the committee will be working towards ensuring the club supports the social interaction and principles of the club alongside our new push for higher talent development, internal recruitment of coaching and ensuring the financial surety of the club moving forward to 2020.
Strategy sessions will be the next item of discussion for the committee as we begin to formulate the direction of the club and put into place a new triple tiered training and development program and bring into play a new coaching staff and positions that will herald new developement of talent and internal recruitment within the ranks of Freezone.
Anyone wishing to nominate or attend committee meetings are most welcome and this can be done by contacting email@example.com. Meetings are held on Fridays at the beginning of each month.
Freezone Volleyball is very happy to be announcing a new initiative for 2017 in the form of an advanced new representative squad that will compete at the Div 1 Level of State Cup and Volleyball Australia Tournaments throughout the country. This new squad will see the appointment of a new Head Coach – Marie Skelton.
The mission of the new squad will be:
- Identifying and developing talent within the club whilst providing an onward developmental progression for players who want to compete at the higher Division 1 level of State Cup competitions and beyond.
- To harness the potential of players who desire a higher competitive experience.
- To provide a recruitment for players who are seeking a competitive level of training and give a greater level of volleyball experience within a supported and managed team environment.
- A squad to represent the club at a State level, creating a supported team environment.
This new direction for the club will be directed by the Committee alongside our head coach and our first trial term will begin in September 20th and will run for approximately 10 weeks as a trial to ascertain the interest and whether the club can support such a new initiative. Trials will be conducted across 2 sessions to maximise the selection and from these trials a squad of 2 teams will be selected.
Coach Marie says she is excited to be taking the club in a new direction. “Freezone has the capacity to compete at the medal level of play in Division 1 and there is so much talent within the ranks of the club. We have always operated as groups of friends playing together and this will still be the focus of Freezone but this new intiative will be about taking players with that raw potential and talent and developing that further at a competitive level to enable development beyond the social level of play”.
Anyone wishing to trial is allowed to attend the sessions in late September but all selected participants must be Freezone Members. The club will be funding much of this new program and is breaking new ground as we begin to develop our internal coaching talent as well with assistant coaches and staff employed to assist with the new program.
Stay tuned for more news of our new squad and this new direction for the club.
For more information visit:
It was a bitterly cold day in Melbourne on July 8th as Freezone fielded two teams in the annual Melbourne Spikers Winter Whack at the Oakleigh Recreational Centre. The annual tounament was delayed a little from previous years after the calendar clashes with the supposed Miami Outgames which were so unceremoniously cancelled and hence rescued by Freezone/Melbourne Spikers in early June.
So it was really lovely to just turn up and play in this tournament and know that the crew was going to ensure another great day was going to happen. The committee of Melbourne Spikers did a marvellous job as always and this time achieved their event despite the President Sebba Delfino swanning it around in Europe!
A rogue team of Freezoners teamed up under the leadership of Scott Baker and placed the ‘Blokes Who Brunch’ team in the B division. It was a little bit of a ‘sandbag’ for our team but that didn’t stop the crew from not having to work their way to the final in the B grade. And what a final – it didn’t disappoint with the game lasting the longest out of all the games with a massive 40-38 2nd set with the Brunchers having to win the set to stay in the match after dropping the first set 25-21. It was a heavy hitout on the 3rd set with Rafael Montellanos having to work his little latino lunchbox to the max, putting an offense together. In the end the BWB crew emerged triumphant to the absolute relief of the organisers who were all very interested in getting out of the gym and into the presentation venue.
It was especially gratifying that Rafael Montellanos received MVP for the day in B grade for his crazy antics and on court drive. A wonderful tournament and day was had by all and Freezone once again had a brilliant time down south enjoying the hospitality of our sister club. Congratulations Melbourne Spikers and looking forawrd
Freezone Volleyball hosts its 2nd annual tournament for 2017 on the last day of September.
We will be back at Netball Central in Homebush with 9 courts and 5 divisions.
This year we are sure to sell out so do get your entries in early.
$250 team entry
Mixed/Women’s/Men’s A & B/Recreational Divisions on offer
BEST UNIFORM PRIZE
What an interesting few weeks we have had over here in Miami. It’s been an intense period of time since the World Outgames announced on Friday that the entire Games had been cancelled before the opening Ceremony on Saturday. As teams were travelling to Miami news began to filter through to ALL competitors that most of the sporting events were being cancelled due to mismanagement of funds by the organising body. With no word from any official body (including GLISA) it was left to individual sports to rally together and try to scrape together an event out of nothing.
It was a huge credit to both Freezone Volleyball and Melbourne Spikers as the committee members of both clubs instantly stepped up to the mark to try and work towards rescuing the Volleyball event from not happening. Communication was rapid between the two clubs and Sebastian Delfino, Stuart Mackay and Peter Furness became the force behind ‘how to rescue the volleyball competition’. Phone calls were going crazy as we were all in transit to Miami and by the time we arrived we had secured the proposed venue, established an online Facebook presence and alternative registration page, been in contact with as many as 20 teams from the original 27 registered for the games, communicated with local organisers in local volleyball leagues in Miami Beach and begun working towards a budget and restoring the competition in it’s entirety. The trio of rescuers were joined by another competitor from Ontario Canada, David Muddiman who stepped up and created a new complete draw with 3 divisions and 4 days of full play that actually had more volleyball for everyone involved.
As we were arriving on the Friday of a long weekend public holiday in Miami we knew this was going to be a challenge. With dogged determination Stuart, Sebba, David and Pete worked hard to try and source as much support as was possible with local contacts and business individuals coming to the fore and trying in their own way to ensure the games continued to happen.
By the time Sunday rolled around, there were 21 teams interested in joining in the new rogue volleyball competition and we had arranged for a budget of US$40 that would cover the costs of the venue and the operation costs. The local Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce of Miami Beach were amazing in their support and logistical help in rescuing the tournament along with members of the South Florida Volleyball League and other local community members who had heard about the predicament and literally offered their time and energy to help create an international event.
Sunday 29th we were all meeting everyone for the first time at a local bar on the boulevard at Miami Beach. Volleyballers from all over the world were coming in and enjoying the ambience and shows of the evening as we collected money and got names and teams registered for our new event. Tuesday morning saw the players kicking off at the beach tournament which had been organised by another local beach club and then it was onto the University of Miami where we kicked off the Indoor Tournament
On the afternoon of the first day after the first few rounds of play you would never have known that days earlier this event was the cause of much anger and bitter disappointment. But once the games started, there was happiness abounding in the gym with everyone doing what they had come to Miami to do.
It was such an amazing occurance that the crew from Australia (with our new Canadian Counterpart) had managed to pull off this event and create a good feeling amongst all the competitors who were there to enjoy playing volleyball. At the end of it all, everyone had played more volleyball than they could handle with tired bodies littering the grounds of the gym as medal playoffs were in progress. New friendships had been formed and the ‘party’ continued to roll on.
On the playing front Sydney was well represented with 4 teams in the B division and Kee Kum taking out a bronze medal in the Final against the FZ Pistons (yes an all aussie playoff). In the beach competition there were medals in the C and B grade with Freezone Players taking out all medals in the B grade competition and also the silver medal in the C grade.
At the end of the day, the scene was a triumph of collaboration and commitment to ensuring that sport and cameraderie wins out in the end. So very proud of the combination of the new Gay Volleyball Australia which saw our 2 clubs banding together to perform a rescue mission.
Now… time for a very well earned repose by a pool!
Another huge day for Freezone last Saturday as we hosted the annual Mardi Gras Mixer at the Sydney Olympic Park Sports Halls across 9 courts of play and a full day of frantic volleyball action. The event was hugely popular with 34 teams across 5 divisions and a full compliment of all levels of play and some brilliant volleyball on offer.
The Sports Halls Venue as always allows us to do our full catastrophe of organisational skill with catering, sound systems and, raffles and costumes all on offer from 9am – 6:30pm into the evening. Its never a dull moment in the day and there were some very ‘special’ sights on offer as everyone got into the Mardi Gras Spirit.
With so many games on the cards, it was wonderful to have a supporting crew behind the desk with our committee members Louis Eudo and Rafael Montellanos giving their time and energy throughout the day. The whole committee was active in running the events and we would like to make special mention to Stuart Mackay and Andrew Harris (along with the entire Pistons Crew) who helped with the lunch service, Jeffrey So for organising the Raffle prizes along with Mark Bennett and Offie Worarat for taking charge of the tickets. As always the ever endearing Somkhit Jartnoi was out in force with the fruits and assisting with the lunch service as well.
Congratulations to all the teams for competing in a hectic schedule that had nearly everyone playing 5 games throughout the day. It was very busy with duties and cross court play for 9 hours. So gladly, everyone had had enough volleyball by the end of the tournament.
Our list below lists our winners and MVP’s. We look forward to having all our supporters back in October for our annual Spring Fling at Netball Central.
Men’s A Grade
Gold: Miss Thailand
Silver: Acers Emerald
Bronze: Spiked Punch
MVP: Marie Skelton
Men’s B Grade
Gold: MFS Pugs
Bronze: FZ Hornets
MVP: Fabian Ma
MVP: Ella Collins
Mixed A Grade
Bronze: Hot Beaches
MVP: Andrew Ko
Mixed B Grade
Bronze: QF Sonics
MVP: Tommy Yap
Gold: Yum Cha
Silver: Acers Opal
Bronze: Ball Busters
MVP: Peter McCurdy
As always, Sydney comes alive with the onslaught of parties, events and parades in late Feb/early March. THe annual Mardi Gras Festival launched on Sunday with the ever fabulous Fair Day taking place, this year returning to its old stomping grounds of Memorial Park in Camperdown. Freezoine was there in force with our usual brigand of folks and paraphernalia and we had a lovely site in the sports village enjoying the various stalls and craziness that comes with Fair Day. With teh change in venue we were unable to erect our Lawn Court this year but managed to get a few balls in the air and have some fun on the day.
This year we went electronic with our data sign up and got names and addresses down for our biggest annual membership recruitment for the year. The day was resplendent in the sunshine and there was a lot of people roaming around and getting their dose of rainbow coloured love and joy. The club had a measured interest this year owing to our position off the walking track but the volunteers did their best to bring as much ‘attention’ to our stall as possible. Thanks to Mark, Andrew, Louis, Rafael and Dayle for being our reps and hanging around to bring attention and welcoming smiles to our stall.
Keep an eye out at trainings over the next few weeks as we have lots of eager newbies joining the sessions after our drive. We hope to bring in some new talent and eager beavers for our 2017 calendar year.
The 2017 Volleyball year launched for Freezone on January 13th with the new years training on Sundays kicking off. Everyone was keen to get going after the summer holidays and we had a healthy contingent taking the courts on our first training.
Of course the big event was the following weekend in Melbourne with the Melbourne Spikers Summer Slam kicking off. We had 3 full Freezone teams competing with Free Spirit and a mixed team of SS Whites in B Grade and FZ Pistons in A Grade. It was a wonderful day as always and we had winners all round with Pistons nabbing the Bronze in A Grade and an MVP for Tommy Yap in B Grade. It was also wonderful to have Aniek Nazagatam joining the SS Whites as special guest star now that she is living in Melbourne.
The new initiative for Freezone this year is a new pricing structure for trainings and the beginning of our new “4 Pass Card” that allows you to buy up to 4 trainigs at a time. The club has had it’s first price hike ($2.50 per training) in over 10 years as costs have begun to creep up on us. But the club is in a great position moving into the new Year with 2 trainings on Sundays and Wednesdays in Rockdale (with our super coach Oscar Konakoff).
Our Mardi Gras Mixer event is looking to be a big event and registrations have already begun to flood in. 9 courts and 34 teams this year is the goal and we are looking at selling this event out early in the year. Get your registrations in and remember that Freezone Members get a special discount for the day.
Be sure to get your membership up to date for 2017 as we are going to be introducting lots more benefits for members including reduced training costs, sponsorships,
pre registrations and discounts for tournaments and access to special events throughout the year. All memberships can be signed up for online via the website at http://www.freezonevolleyball.org/membership-2