Olivia Goodwin is among the next generation of volleyball athletes emerging from Matamata College.
The Year 11 student has been selected for the New Zealand Under 17 Beach volleyball team, and will travel across the ditch to compete next month.
Mr Kilham has been coaching the sport for more than 25 years, and says the college is proud to produce strong players.
“Success breeds success to a certain extent,” he said.
Mr Kilham says Olivia is a good all-round player.
“She passes well, serves well, reads the game well, hits well… If you look at the whole spectrum of volleyball skills, she’s right up there,” he said.
“And she’s got the hunger for it. She’s always working hard and she’s a really good team player because of that.”
Olivia has been playing beach volleyball for almost three years. She also competes in indoor volleyball.
Indoor volleyball follows similar rules to beach but requires more players in a team. Beach courts are also smaller than indoor courts.
Olivia and the New Zealand Under 17 squad will travel to Australia on November 28 and will compete at Queensland’s Sandstorm centre.
She’s inspired by fellow volleyball player Shaunna Polley, from Hamilton, who, earlier this year, represented New Zealand at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
Olivia plays for Matamata College senior A volleyball team, as well as a Hamilton club team, and hopes to one day take her volleyball talent overseas.
“I’m really stoked that Olivia has got the beach selection and is getting a trip out of it as well,” Mr Kilham said.
“I think we’ve got a good thing going. I really like the way our senior team enjoys the game and enjoys the company.”
We wish Olivia the best for her trip to Australia and we cannot wait to see what comes out of this opportunity.