Kaia Clarkin to join the Australian Volleyball Academy in 2021

The Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA) is excited to announce that Kaia Te Patere Clarkin will be joining its AVA athlete Cohort in Canberra for 2021.

The Perth-based athlete first picked up a volleyball in year eight at Perth’s Gilmore College and has never looked back.

Gilmore College Volleyball Coordinator Craig Davies fondly recalls Kaia joining the team, saying “From the moment Kaia joined the Year 8 team as a 6 foot 13-year-old with the ability to hit a volleyball well, we knew that he had huge potential”.

“Over the years he worked hard on his other skills and improved his entire game significantly. When he started getting selected for state representative teams, he took it upon himself to work, fundraise and save money to be able to achieve his goal of playing volleyball for WA and beyond”, added Davies. 

Kaia first heard about the Australian Volleyball Academy at Volleyball Australia’s 2019 Thailand Junior camp. Said Kaia on his 2021 signing, “I am very grateful that I have been given the opportunity to further develop my skills in Volleyball with other dedicated athletes and coaches.”

“We are so excited to see that Kaia has progressed out of a relatively new volleyball school in WA, growing from 9 to 120 athletes in just 5 years, to now accepting an offer to play volleyball full-time at the Australian Volleyball Academy within a four-year timespan!” Said VWA CEO Robyn Kuhl.

AVA Men’s Head Coach Brendan Garlick is ecstatic about Kaia’s signing, saying “The story behind Kaia Clarkin's rise to becoming an AVA athlete is one that will bring a smile to everyone's face. From humble volleyball beginnings at Gilmore College, Kaia is a great example of dedication, perseverance, and hard work. These traits are why Kaia has a bright future ahead of him”.

Kaia has a great support system in WA who are all incredibly proud of the work and dedication he has put into his Volleyball.

“It is truly a testament to Kaia’s hard work and dedication, as well as the support he received from Gilmore College and his coaches in WA over the years” added Robyn Kuhl.

Kaia certainly made an impact at Gilmore College, with Craig Davies finishing off by saying, “We are in no way surprised that Volleyball Australia have seen the same potential in him that we do, not only as a volleyball player, but as an outstanding young man. He will be sorely missed at Gilmore College, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.”

Kaia’s favourite volleyball memory was when his school took out the gold medal in their first ever tournament in his first year of playing, Kaia was also awarded MVP of the same tournament.

“I am keen to join the AVA in 2021 to become a better player and hopefully be able to play professionally”, said Kaia on his future in the sport. He also hopes to one day represent Australia in the Olympics.

Kaia will continue his schooling in Canberra with the strong foundations that Gilmore College has instilled in him and will begin his training at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Canberra at the beginning of 2021.

The primary objective of the Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA) is to identify and develop Olympic potential athletes for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. It is the High-Performance Development Program for volleyball and beach volleyball athletes who aspire to reach the elite level of their sport.

For any enquiries, please contact the AVA team at pathways@volleyball.org.au