WELL DONE: Sam Flowerday and Jack Ryan claimed gold and silver medals respectively at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships.
WELL DONE: Sam Flowerday and Jack Ryan claimed gold and silver medals respectively at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships. Claudia Alp

Volleyball champions return home from the Gold Coast

VOLLEYBALL: Sam Flowerday and Jack Ryan returned to the Whitsundays with gold and silver medals respectively after representing Queensland in the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships last month.

The championships were held on the Gold Coast until October 6, featuring representatives from states and territories around Australia.

Flowerday and Ryan, both 16-year-old athletes attending Proserpine State High School (PSHS), met in kinder and have been playing volleyball together at school for almost three years.

This time, the boys found themselves on opposite sides of the net, but not without a few laughs thrown in, according to Ryan.

The white team, featuring Flowerday, came out on top in the end with a gold medal finish while the silver team, featuring Ryan, claimed silver.

Overall, the boys said they were happy with the result.

"I was pretty happy, in awe, really. It all came down to that one point,” Flowerday said.

"It was our first time on different teams to each other so it was pretty competitive, but friendly at the same time.”

But the match could have gone either way, as the silver team had bested the white team in the previous round.

"I'm a bit disappointed that we lost, but I'm happy we got to where we did,” Ryan said.

Both athletes underwent a strenuous training program in the lead up to the event which they said "impacted on school” at times.

Training took place in Brisbane, meaning Flowerday had to fly there and back every weekend for four months, while Ryan attended almost just as many.

Flowerday has since been invited to a camp with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) to prepare for consideration for a position at the Centre of Excellence next year.

Both Flowerday and Ryan will travel to Melbourne in December for the 2018 Australian Volleyball Schools Cup.

But the boys haven't decided whether volleyball will turn into a career yet.

For now, they're just happy to enjoy the sport and "see where it goes”.

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