Lara Atanda to join the Australian Volleyball Academy for 2021

The Australian Volleyball Academy is excited to announce that Queensland athlete Lara Atanda will be joining its 2021 athlete cohort.


The Canterbury College student is a talented athlete in more than just volleyball; Lara is also the current Queensland Athletics U18 High Jump Champion. After careful consideration of her sporting options, Lara ultimately made the decision to pursue volleyball over her athletics and will join the AVA’s full-time integrated program in January at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS).


"I am excited to pursue this rare opportunity to work full time with the Australian Volleyball Academy in 2021” said Lara on her AVA 2021 signing.

“I am looking forward to growing as a player under the guidance of the staff and athletes based in Canberra."


Lara first heard about the AVA through the Australian Junior Development Program in 2019.

The young athlete’s future volleyball aspirations are to become a Volleyroo and represent Australia in the Olympic Games.


We are very excited to have Lara sign on for the AVA for 2021, said AVA Women’s Head Coach, Martin Collins.

“Lara's a fantastic athlete and has a strong background in athletics which helps her compete at the net”.


Lara was initially inspired to pursue the volleyball pathway by Women’s Volleyroos, Jennifer Tait, after speaking with her at the 2019 Australian Volleyball Schools Cup about her own experiences in representing Australia.


Volleyball Queensland General Manager Gary O’Donnell is very proud of Lara’s volleyball journey, saying “It has been a rapid rise for Lara having been 'spotted' playing with her school team Canterbury College late last year to joining one of Queensland leading clubs - Dragons where she progressed into their top team and by season end had great success winning the Queensland Championships and finishing runner up in the Premier League finals”.


“Lara's journey whilst only just beginning is a great story of the talent identification pathway working quickly and efficiently and I'd like to thank the coaches she has had up until this point”, added Women’s Head Coach Martin Collins. “Even in a such an interrupted year she has committed to her volleyball development and her progress has been great”.


The primary objective of the Australian Volleyball Academy (AVA) is to identify and develop Olympic potential athletes for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. It is the High-Performance Development Program for volleyball and beach volleyball athletes who aspire to reach the elite level of their sport.

For any enquiries, please contact the AVA team at