Ryan spikes squad spot
SOME people are just built for a sport.
In Alek Ryan’s case his sport is volleyball.
The Inverloch teenager has recently been selected for the Australian Youth Volleyball Squad.
As part of this he and 11 other young volleyball superstars will be heading to Thailand next month.
“We’re competing in a junior championship over there,” he said.
His team, which are under 17, will be taking on under 21 teams from around Thailand.
“We will be playing against the Thai Army and Thai Navy and colleges from over there as well some other international teams.”
“This is just training for this to keep us playing.”
The squad are getting ready for a world junior championship qualifier next year.
“We’re working up to the Asian Championships which are usually in Iran,” Alek said.
One of the 15 year old’s major advantages on the volleyball court is his height.
Standing well above six feet tall Alek towers over most his age and many full grown men.
“It has its disadvantages and advantages, usually tall people are slower to move,” he said.
Alek however is unique in the fact he sports a fair amount of agility for someone of his height.
Starting the sport three years ago Alek has excelled a long way.
“Originally my sister started playing and I was hanging out with her, so I got into it,” he said.
“Then I got into the GSA (Gippsland Sports Academy) and from there I went to Under 15s then 16s and 17s and then made the youth team.
“I also still play with the Korumburra Volleyball Association.”
With representation in a number of teams Alek has a fair amount of training cut out for him.
“I have training twice a week in Dandenong and once a week in East Keilor,” he said.
When volleyball season starts in a month Alek will travel to Melbourne four times a week for training or playing.
Having also made the under 16 and 17 state teams he will play in the state league on Saturdays.
Alek is hoping volleyball will get him far in life.
“I’m hoping to try and get a scholarship with a college over in the USA and play volleyball there and get a free education,” he said.
“I’d just like to say a big thank you to my family, the Gippsland Sports Academy and SP AusNet for their sponsorship of the GSA and all my coaches.”
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