Sam O’Dea and Shaunna Polley (front left) with young volleyballers during their skills session. Photo: Barry Whitnall/Shuttersport.

Pro’s serve skills to students

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To celebrate Nelson Bays Volleyball’s 50th Jubilee, pro volleyballers Sam O’Dea and Shaunna Polley were here to spend time with the club and run a skills session on Sunday.

Nelson Bays Volleyball operations manager Pam Brodie asked the pair to come to Nelson as guest speakers for the Jubilee celebrations on Saturday.

She says, to have them give a skills session to younger students as well is “absolutely amazing” and that it’s been a great experience to have Sam and Shaunna in the region.

“We’re very lucky. We just don’t get star volleyballers in Nelson because of the cost of travel, so to have these two come down just makes it a very special occasion.”

Sam and Shaunna were both strong contenders at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with Sam coming away with a bronze medal in the beach volleyball men’s section.

More than 40 young Nelson volleyballers seized the opportunity to be shown tips and tricks from the two standout athletes at the newly-completed Tahunanui Beach volleyball courts.

Sam and Shaunna both say they were “really happy” to be here and understand the importance of younger athletes having role models to look up to.

“Our goal is to cover a lot of different techniques, it’s the start of summer so we want the students to just get down here as much as they can,” says Sam.

“We’re both from the North Island, the Bay of Plenty is kind of the hub of NZ, so it’s great to get down here and see beach volleyball in the South Island, and at a really good level.”