Supporting the GMVA to help Australia’s volleyballers succeed on the world stage
At RollsPack we’re always excited to give back and one of our favourite ways is to sponsor local sporting clubs and organisations. One such club is the Great Melbourne Volleyball Academy (GMVA). The GMVA was created by Luke Campbell following a successful professional volleyball career which led to him representing Australia at the 2004 Athens Olympics.
The GMVA Program
The GMVA is comprised of 9 different squads, each catering to athletes at different ages and levels of development and each with their own head & assistant coach supporting the players to improve. These range from younger kids just getting into active sport and using Volleyball as a way to develop both physical and social skills to more elite athletes which take part in the GMVA’s Centre of Excellence Program. This program is centred around athletes for whom Volleyball can open the doors to incredible opportunities such as college scholarships in the USA. While the scale of the sport is quite small here in Australia, it is much larger in America. This combined with the fact that college sport market in the USA is valued at $14.4 Billion means that colleges are always on the lookout for young talent that can help their team succeed in exchange for a free education.
Opening The Door To Volleyball in the USA
While the demand is there, the connection between talent and scholarship can be very difficult… especially for kids on the other side of the world in a country these college scouts don’t often associate with the sport. For local Aussie families grinding to help make their kids’ dreams a reality, the options were very limited, and many had to turn to paid recruitment agencies which charged thousands and often failed to place these students.
In the Summer of 2017 Luke decided to tackle this problem by putting together a database of collegiate programs and contacting them one by one. By summer’s end he had spoken with hundreds of colleges and developed relationships with key scouts, opening a passage for young Australian volleyballers to make it to a bigger stage.
Years later the fruits of Luke’s selfless labour are evident. To date 46 young athletes have received scholarships to attend USA colleges, 10 have become professional volleyballers and 9 represent Australia’s national team. Among this elite cohort are athletes like Alissa Kinkela & Curtis Stockton. Alissa’s volleyball journey began in the GMVA’s Spikezone program when she was in Grade 5. Rising through the youth, junior, senior and elite ranks she would go on to receive a prestigious Division 1 scholarship in the USA’s ‘Big Ten’ conference and compete for the Australian national team at only 17 years old. Curtis began as a youth and progressed to an elite level becoming worthy of receiving a Division 1 College scholarship in Canada before turning professional and competing against the world’s best in Europe and Japan while also representing Australia as part of our national team.
Luke doesn’t charge families for this service, and never asked anything in return for the countless hours of work required to kick the USA college door down. He is just happy to see his students succeed and pay the support he received early in his career forward to others who have followed in his footsteps becoming elite Volleyballers excited to represent their nation.
We’re proud to sponsor organisations like the GMVA led by individuals like Luke to support their progress as they continue to grow the sport here in Australia, help kids develop physical and social skills, and open a door for Australia’s elite Volleyballers to realise their dreams on the biggest stage volleyball has to offer.