Volleyball NSW Celebrates Milestone for Inclusion and Diversity

Published Tue 19 Mar 2024

In an important milestone for Volleyball NSW, the board has officially endorsed the highly anticipated Inclusive Uniform Position Statement, marking a pivotal moment in the sport's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Volleyball NSW celebrates inclusion and diversity for all our participants.

We are proud to be an inclusive sport and believe there is a place for everyone.

We encourage participation at all levels in a safe and inclusive environment and support our diverse community. From a uniforming perspective, we prioritise and celebrate the importance of personal choice, comfortability, and cultural and religious beliefs, in addition to ensuring a sun-safe environment.

VNSW Inclusive Position Statement:

Volleyball NSW embraces an inclusive uniform approach that empowers personal choice, flexibility, and adaptability, enabling individual experience and encouraging continued participation. – VNSW Board

This achievement comes after several years of dedicated conversations and consultation within the community, emphasising an approach that embraces personal preference. Notably, this dialogue has been ongoing in Beach Volleyball for an extended period and now reflects the sport's proactive stance on inclusivity.

"We are thrilled to announce the endorsement of our Inclusive Uniform Position Statement by the Volleyball NSW Board. This milestone underscores our dedication to fostering a culture of inclusion, diversity, and empowerment within our sport. Through personalised choices and adaptable options, we aim to create a welcoming environment that celebrates individuality and promotes continued participation." - VNSW CEO Baz Wedmaier.

Drawing inspiration from other sports, particularly Netball NSW, Volleyball NSW has taken cues from their approach, leveraging insights from shared uniform supplier Valour to enhance their inclusive uniform strategy.

This strategy underscores Volleyball NSW's unwavering commitment to fostering a welcoming and diverse environment for all participants. Critical funding and support through the NSW Office of Sport’s Her Sport Her Way program spearheaded this milestone and has shaped this progressive initiative.

“Research has found that fear of judgement based on appearance is a barrier to female participation in sport.

“The NSW Office of Sport welcomes Volleyball NSW’s Inclusive Uniform Position Statement and is proud of the role the Her Sport Her Way Program has played in helping to break down barriers to participation for women and girls in volleyball.” - NSW Office of Sport Chief Executive Karen Jones. 

With a strategic focus on Beach Volleyball as the initial implementation phase, Volleyball NSW is poised to set new standards in inclusive uniform practices within the Volleyball sporting community.

This week, Volleyball NSW will send its largest squad to The Australian Youth Beach Volleyball Championships in Coolangatta. The squad consists of over 113 dedicated athletes, coaches, and staff. The squad will sport our inclusive uniform range and will be a vibrant display that exemplifies the diversity that lies at the heart of sport.

2023 Beach State Team serves as a visual testament to the principles of personal choice and inclusivity championed by Volleyball NSW.

“As a coach and parent of youth athletes, I believe the inclusive beach volleyball uniform initiative will encourage more athletes to not only participate in our sport but pursue playing at higher levels, knowing they can choose a uniform they feel comfortable in. I am excited to see how it progresses in the future.” – VNSW Coach and Parent Kelly Hunter.

It is Volleyball NSW’s position and experience that as the world changes, engagement modifies and as Volleyball as a sport evolves, we must evolve. It is our responsibility to ensure our policies, processes and procedures are in alignment with the current trends and expectations of our community and we seek to provide an approach that prioritises personal choice.

What does this mean for our athletes?

Volleyball NSW is working with partner uniform supplier Valour to ensure we provide flexible options for uniforms with our state representatives. Our approach seeks to offer more than traditional uniforms, allowing participants the option to choose the best combination for what works for them.

Regarding our state beach athletes competing in Coolangatta, our U14 girls have chosen a combination of crops and singlet tops, bike shorts, and shorts. The athletes were given the option to choose what they were most comfortable with, highlighting what makes us different brings us together!

Volleyball NSW invites stakeholders and enthusiasts to commemorate this significant step towards a more inclusive sporting landscape. Stay tuned for updates on the next stages of our inclusive uniforming journey.