Three young Taranaki locals and one Aucklander have been named in the national Beach Volleyball teams for the upcoming Youth Olympic Games.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee has just named Keegan Joe (17), David Jeffrey (18) and Maya Dickson (17) from New Plymouth and Tamara Otene (16) from Westlake Girls.
Maya and Tamara have been named to the women's team following their win at the Oceania U19 Beach Championships in Canberra held earlier this year.
Since then, Maya competed at the U19 Beach Volley Championships in China last month, and Tamara competed at the Asian U10 Indoor Volleyball Championships.
Looking forward to the Youth Olympic Games in October, Maya says, "I love that beach volleyball is a game of both physical and mental strength. In order to win you and your partner have to demonstrate both of these attributes to a very high level."
Their male peers have also been busy out in the circuits. Both Keegan and David competed in the U19 Beach Volleyball World Champs in China.
Keegan says, "I'm really excited to compete and thrilled to get the opportunity to go over there."
"I'm hoping to learn a lot from the other teams and I'm sure I'll come out of the experience having made some friends and hopefully as a better volleyballer."
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO Kereyn Smith says, "We saw that New Zealand beach volleyballers can hack it against the best the world has to offer when Sam and Ben O'Dea won bronze at this year's Commonwealth Games. I wish these young athletes the best as they strive to add to that success in October."
The Youth Olympic Games will run from October 6 to 18 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.