Youngster grabs chance with both hands


THE conveyor belt of future sport stars at Orara High school has manufactured another volleyball gem in Paul Jones.

The youngster has been called up to the NSW volleyball squad which is currently training hard in the build up to the national volleyball championships which start in Adelaide on Sunday.

Jones has had a successful season to date.

In January he was selected in the North Coast team after trials in Forster before he travelled to Sydney in February for State titles.

Although he played well in these trials, an ankle injury cost him a place in the State squad and he was named as first reserve.

Then in a dramatic turn of fortunes, an injury to one of the other players gave Jones his chance which he grabbed with open arms.

Shrugging off his original disappointment at not making the squad, Jones now has the chance to make the Australian under-19 squad.

This opportunity will take place in Adelaide when the representative teams from all the States of Australia meet up to compete in the National Championships, from which an U19 Australian volleyball team will be selected.

Considering Jones has only been playing volleyball for four years it is a great credit to himself and his schools coach, Kim Harland, that he has achieved the success he has.

Achievements like this don't just happen, they take a lot of hard work, time and effort.

As part of the State squad Jones has to train in Sydney with his team-mates at Homebush during his weekends, travelling down either by plane, train or car on a Friday, playing Saturday and Sunday before travelling back again.

The squad must meet up for four compulsory sessions, but as the July tournament draws closer they have been meeting up every weekend which is obviously very tiring mentally and physically.

Jones maintains his enthusiasm and is really looking forward to the challenge.

"The travelling can be a bit of a drag, especially the train journey, but it is worth it when you get down there," Jones said.

"Playing and training at Homebush is a real buzz, and I am really looking forward to playing in Adelaide."

Orara High School principal, Graham Mosey, was proud of what Jones has achieved and emphasised that he also really deserved it.

"We have so many great kids at this school, so it is fantastic to see Paul doing so well and playing sport at such a high level," Mosey said.

"Paul is a good student in all respects and thoroughly deserves the success he achieves and we wish him all the best in Adelaide."

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