The board of Volleyball Australia has voted unanimously to nominate its President, Craig Carracher, to the Executive of the Australian Olympic Committee.
Carracher, who was elected by the AOC Board to fill a casual vacancy in 2015, and then re-endorsed at last year’s AOC AGM, has worked tirelessly for the betterment of beach and indoor volleyball in Australia for almost three decades.
Volleyball Australia Board member and Sydney 2000 beach gold medallist, Kerri Pottharst, said her sport was fortunate to have someone of Carracher’s standing in its corner.
“Craig’s nomination to the AOC in 2015 represented a major step forward for the most gender equal sport in Australia,” Pottharst said.
“Our Board unanimously encouraged Craig to nominate to the AOC, given the very important impact this has on Australia’s position in one of the foundation team sports of the Olympics.
“This is the quadrennial which will return the sport to Tokyo where volleyball was first played at Japan’s invitation in 1964.”
Carracher said he was proud to be given the chance to represent a sport he has loved and worked for most of his life.
“I am very proud to be nominated by the sport I so passionately represent,” Carracher said.
“On the board of the AOC I represent all sports and the Olympic movement and I am humbled by that opportunity. I was never a good enough athlete to attend the Olympics, so I am conscious how hard I must work to enhance the opportunities of athletes and sports to achieve the ultimate goal of participation and representation.
“If my contribution is of value to the AOC and the National Federations that it represents, I hope to enthusiastically and uncompromisingly act to discharge that responsibility.”
Pottharst said Carracher and Volleyball Australia has a strong history of fighting for the cause of sport.
“Volleyball Australia has a long tradition of activism in sport,” Pottharst said.
“Craig and the former President, Chris Schacht, attended their first AOC AGM in 1997 together, and have been outspoken commentators and passionate supporters on the role of the Olympic movement on team sport and the role of National Federations to be accountable as stakeholders in Olympic and global sports.”
Volleyball Australia has contributed almost 100 Olympic athletes since its first appearance in 1996 at the Atlanta Games, where Natalie Cook and Pottharst won a beach volleyball bronze medal.
Cook and Pottharst went on to win gold in Sydney four years later, and Australia remains the third most successful country in Olympic women’s beach volleyball, behind USA and Brazil.