Shane van Beest was 26 years of age when he was forced to retire from volleyball with his body unable to take any more punishment.
With around 240 games for Australia under his belt, Shane ruptured a disk in his back. After three shoulder reconstructions, than the back injury, he decided enough was enough and he bowed out of the sport earlier than he would have liked nor anticipated in 2006.
Now at 40 years of age and working in commercial leasing with Colliers in Brisbane, Shane’s main involvement with the sport is as a coach of his son’s school team.
There is also social beach volleyball, but a game of indoor is out of the question because of the injuries sustained while an elite player.
Shane’s 13-year-old son Kye is a talented all round sportsman. He’s spent the past week playing for the Queensland under 14s team at the Australian Junior Volleyball Championships in Canberra. Shane says he is happy to see his son involved in volleyball, “There’s no pressure from me. I want him to find himself and discover what he likes about the sport.”
He is part of the next generation of children of former stars making an impact on the sport. Over the course of the week in Canberra, the next generation of sons and daughters of legendary figures such as Ben Hardy and David Beard, could be seen engaged in the very sport that their parents enjoy.
Shane says, “Seeing the image of Ben with his son Owen the other day, brought back memories of when Ben and I played together professionally in Belgium. Our sons were born only two weeks apart. There’s great camaraderie amongst the players of that era, and it’s so good to see former team mates such as Ben and David still involved in the sport.”
As to Kye’s future plans? Given his all-round prowess in a range of sports including basketball, AFL and volleyball, Shane says that in the next year or so Kye will have to make a decision to focus on one sport.
Those involved in volleyball, no doubt, will be hoping the son of one of Australia’s top players stays in their sport