Volleyball Team Australia Men are looking to qualify for their third Olympic Games in Beijing to follow on from their success at the 2007 FIVB World Cup where they finished eighth.
VTAM have been improving since the turn of the century when they appeared in the 2000 Games in Sydney, placing eighth after beating Spain and taking a set from World Champions Italy.
Having participated in the Sydney Games as the host nation, VTAM set out to qualify for Athens in their own right for the first time.
Australia achieved this historic goal at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo, becoming the Asian Volleyball Confederation’s representative in Athens as the highest-ranked Asian team after defeating traditional Asian powers Japan, Korea and China for the first time in a single international tournament.
At the 2004 Athens Olympics, VTAM finished 11th, taking a set off both USA and World and Olympic Champions Brazil.
A new-look VTAM competed in their fourth FIVB World Championships in 2006, to follow up their appearance in the 1982, 1998, 2002 editions of the tournament.
In 2007, VTAM returned to Fukuoka (a host city of the 2006 World Championships) to win the Asia Pacific Cup for the first time.
Following on from their success at the Asia Pacific Cup, VTAM traveled to India for the second Commonwealth Championships for Men and won their second successive tournament in the space of two months as preparation for the 14th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship in Indonesia.
At the 14th Asian Senior Men’s Volleyball Championship, VTAM created Asian Volleyball history by winning the Championship after playing 10 games in as many days with only one loss. This was the first time in which a country other than China, Japan or Korea had won the Continental Championship.
The Volleyball Team Australia staff members are Head Coach Russell Borgeaud, Assistant Coach Andrew Strugnell, Trainer Dan Ilott, Doctor Charles Howse, Head of Delegation Adam Sachs, Team Manager Steve Benson and Physiotherapist Fiona Gutschlag and Damian Oldmeadow.
The Australian Volleyball Federation was founded in 1963 and the sport of Volleyball has rapidly increased in popularity since then, particularly in schools and recreational centres.
VTAM has been supported by the Australian Institute of Sport since 1990 and has been based in Canberra at the main AIS campus since 1997. The AIS-based program operates year round, with increasing numbers of players competing in European professional leagues.
Russell Borgeaud has been Australian Men's National Team Head Coach since 2005.
Borgeaud played 136 times for the Australian Men's National Team before retiring as a player.
Borgeaud was then appointed as Head Coach of the Queensland Academy of Sport where he recruited and developed a number of new athletes for the Junior National Teams.
In 2001, Borgeaud was approached to assist Jon Uriarte who had been appointed Head Coach of the Men's National Team. As Assistant Coach, he was involved with the 2002 FIVB World Championship and the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo that saw the Australian Team qualify for the 2004 Olympics in Athens.
Since Borgeaud's appointment as Head Coach in 2005, the Australian Men's National Team has qualified for the 2006 World Championship, for the third successive time, won their first Asian Championship in 2007 and finished eighth at their first FIVB World Cup tournament.
In 2008, Borgeaud and the team are looking to cap an excellent 12 months by qualifying for their third Olympics.