I am excited to be donating my time to support the Australian Beach Volleyball Team's philanthropic legacy for London 2012. Next week together we will inspire more than 300 London youth, charitable team members and Corporate executives through the delivery of motivational speeches, champion workshops and activities.
Here are the profile of 3 amazing Australian leaders who are volunteering their time to inspire, inform, invigorate and motivate youth, charity workers and corporates - and make their contribution to our mission to inspire young women and girls!
Steve Anderson - the first African American Coach to perform as Beach Volleyball Coach in 4 Olympic Games!
Steve Anderson, Australian Olympic Beach Volleyball Coach has coached his teams four times to Olympic Gold and Bronze Medals as well as 23 International Medals including 8 at the Federation de International Volleyball (FIVB) World Championships. Today he has just completed his journey leading 5 times Olympian, Natalie Cook (gender equity and gay rights champion) and 3 times Olympian, Tamsin Hinchley (working mother champion) at London 2012. Steve coached Natalie Cook to a bronze in Atlanta and gold in Sydney. In addition Steve has coached over 100 Professional Athletes from 13 different countries, 16 of which have represented their country at the Olympic Games. Steve received the 2001 Australian Volleyball National Coach of the Year award and his team was awarded the 1990-2000 FIVB International Team of the Decade and 2001 Queensland Sports Team of the Year. Steve is the first African American ever to coach Beach Volleyball at an Olympic level and the first African American to have coached in 4 Olympic Games: London 2012, Athens 2004, Sydney 2000, and Atlanta 1996. Steve is proud of his work in Australia with the African Scouts, a joint venture with Brisbane City Council Sport and Recreation, the Queensland Volleyball Association, Scouts Queensland and the African Cultural Association to which Steve is a Board Member and provides leadership training and a vehicle for Assisting Ethnic Youth with maintaining their esteem while assimilating into Australian culture.
"On paper", Steve came from the wrong place, started too late and wasn't qualified to achieve many if not all of the things that he has today. Steve will run workshops and sessions focused on the Champion mindset, habits, tools and skills that allow people to use their gifts, purpose and passions to create a fulfilling and successful life. These insights are taken from the Champions Map, a program that he designed for anyone with a champion's mindset who wants to make the most out of their lives. The Champions Map is a living resource that one can refer to time and time again to keep track with one’s goals and to help be your guide to maintain harmony in your relationships, finances, health, career, education and performance.
Tamsin Hinchley, 3 time Olympic Volleyball Player!
Growing up on a small farm outside Ballarat, Tamsin Hinchley (nee Barnett) was an accomplished rower at high school, winning silver in the schoolgirls open four at the 1997 Australian Championships, the same year that she played in her first indoor volleyball nationals. The following year, she moved to the AIS in a bid to make the indoor volleyball team for the Olympics. She was successful and made the team that competed in Sydney, finishing 9th.
After the Sydney Games, Hinchley began her professional career in Europe, playing in both Germany and Spain for two years, becoming the first Australian woman to win a European league championship when her team Scweriner SC won the German National League. Between 1998 and 2005, she also played over 250 internationals including the World Championships.
Hinchley tore her meniscus in 2003 whilst playing in Spain and returned to Australia for surgery. She was then unable to play on hard boards so turned her attention to the beach, starting to play at St Kilda in Melbourne in 2004. Within a year she was competing on the FIVB World Tour and in the same year won three Australian Tour events with partner Summer Lochowicz. Hinchley paired up with Nat Cook in 2005, winning the National Titles and then going on to take out the 2007 Seoul Open - their third Wolrd Tour event together. Hinchley was named the 2007 Most Improved Player on the FIVB World Tour. Hinchley and Cook competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, going down in the quarter-finals to finish fifth.
In 2009, Hinchley married and had a baby boy Arley. In the lead up to London, Hinchley's husband and son lived in Melbourne, whilst Hinchley trained in Adelaide and spent a lot of time on tour. After trying some other partner combinations, Cook and Hinchley joined together again in 2011 and despite making the top 16 to gain automatic qualification for the Games, the pair won the Continental Cup in China to book their spot in London.
Louise Bawden - Australia's rising star. Currently on scholarship with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Adelaide, South Australia, Bawden was a member of the Australian Indoor team from 1998 through 2004.
Having competed at the Sydney Olympic Games in the Australian indoor volleyball team, Louise Bawden switched the hard indoor floors for the soft sand of the beach and made her second Games appearance in London alongside partner Becchara Palmer.
Growing up in Melbourne, Bawden left home at the age of 16 to join the national indoor volleyball program in Canberra. Three years later she competed at the Sydney Olympic Games as a part of the indoor team that finished 9th. She soon moved to the Netherlands to take up a professional contract until 2003, playing at the 2002 World Championships along the way.
Switching to beach volleyball in 2009, she made an immediate impact as she won the world beach volleyball association's top rookie award with American Angie Akers. Palmer and Bawden came together late in 2009 and won silver in only their third event together on the FIVB World Tour in Poland
They became Australia's number one pair in 2011 as they took out the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships and went on to finish 11th at the 2011 World Championships in Rome.
The pair performed strongly throughout 2012 winning 20 of their 31 matches as they made the quarter-finals in Sanya, China and Moscow, Russia to finish the Olympic qualification period strongly and as they finished ranked in the top 16 in the world.
Retiring - Natalie Cook - The only athlete ever to compete in all five Olympic Games in beach volleyball since the introduction of the sport at the 1996 Games and the first Australian woman to compete at five Olympic Games!
Natalie Cook made her Olympic debut alongside Kerri Pottharst as the pair brought home bronze from Atlanta. Four years later they became one of of the lasting images of the Sydney 2000 Games when they claimed gold on the sands of Bondi Beach. The consecutive medals remain the only medals Australia has won in the sport at the Games.
Cook has won five Australian Championships with three different partners, including three consecutive titles with Pottharst (2001, 2002 and 2003), and one each with Nicole Sanderson (2004) and Tamsin Hinchley (2006).
Cook and Sanderson won bronze at the 2003 World Championships and went on to finish fourth at the Athens Games despite Cook carrying a shoulder injury throughout the tournament. She linked up with Tamsin Hinchley in 2007 and went on to compete at the Beijing Games where the pair bowed out in the quarter-finals to the Brazilian pairing.
Having split to test new combinations at the start of 2011, Cook and Hinchley reunited less than a year out from the Games. Despite not making the top 16 to gain automatic qualification for the Games, the pair won the Continental Cup in China to confirm Cook's record breaking effort. Off the court, Cook runs her own business 'Sandstorm' with a mission to build as many sandpits as she can around Australia and the world, in a bid to promote the sport of beach volleyball and provide opportunities for the youth to follow in her footsteps.
I am privileged to have this opportunity to work with these outstanding Australian's and Olympians and together make our contribution to ModernMuse.
Stay tuned for daily updates on our initiatives!