Notre Dame student 'serves, sets and spikes' his way to World Uni Games
A former high school rower and current student at The University of Notre Dame Australia has been selected to represent Australia in beach volleyball at the 2011 Summer Universiade (World University Games) at Shenzhen, China, in August.
Studying a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management at the Fremantle Campus, 22-year-old Joshua Court says he is excited to leave the sun-kissed, golden sanded and picturesque Western Australian shores behind to compete against more than 100 countries at the biennial tournament.
Mr Court will be playing with fellow 22-year-old West Australian and student at Edith Cowan University’s Joondalup Campus, Michael Snart, who he describes as a “driven, motivated and passionate player”.
Having only played the sport since 2009, Mr Court believes that one of the challenges will be adapting to new playing conditions – a make-shift beach volleyball court inside a closed stadium filled with more than 65 cubic metres of sand collected from across China.
“In Western Australia, we get a lot more wind and the sand is a lot softer,” he explained.
“So travelling internationally and playing in a stadium there’s going to be a lot less wind and the sand is a little bit harder so we’ll be able to jump higher which will be good.”
Mr Court turned his attention to indoor volleyball in late-2005 after competing with the Aquinas College rowing team for much of his high school life.
After initially playing beach volleyball with an old school friend of his, both Mr Court and Mr Snart began training together in late-2009 and travelled to California the following year to play in three major competitions.
The pair returned home with first, third and ninth place finishes from the competitions, awarding them an AAA rating for beach volleyball in the USA.
With only two players per side on a beach volleyball court compared to six in the indoor version, Mr Court said it was important to learn as much about the game play of his teammate as that of the opposition.
“We both do things differently on court and over the past couple of years that we have been playing together we’ve learnt how each other moves and how we react to certain plays,” Mr Court said.
“The trip over to China will be our first real international experience playing and representing Australia which has been a goal of mine for some time.
“I hope to continually improve on my volleyball skills and meet other young players who want to come to Australia or alternatively might want us to go over to their country and compete with them.”
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