Coolum duo set sights on State Volleyball Champs and beyond to Olympics

The Coolum-based beach volleyball duo of Phoebe Bell and Caitlin Bettenay will be competing this coming weekend at the Queensland Open where they will go up against the best in the state in the Open Women’s division. Photo: Contributed

Some of Australia’s most exciting beach volleyball talent, including Olympians and World tour players, will descend on Bulcock Beach to play for the Queensland title. 

Volleyball Queensland is hosting the Open event this coming weekend January 19-21 with the showcase attracting about 200 teams (550 beach volleyballers) consisting of senior and junior divisions and Coolum will be represented by the duo of Phoebe Bell and Caitlin Bettenay in the Open Women’s event.  

The passionate team are based in Coolum, trains here and has played on the National Team for the past eight years and also competes on the Pro Tour, and in their long-term game plan is to wear the green and gold at the LA Olympics in 2028.   

Completely self-funded the women pay for all of their own coaching, travel and logistics and also give back to the local community.  

“We are passionate about helping others, especially within the Coolum and Sunshine Coast community,” Phoebe stated.  

“Caitlin has built a volleyball academy on the sunny coast which has over 100 kids participating, and this was built to provide young athletes with pathways to the elite – this has never been done before on the coast.”  

All of the action at the Queensland Open will take place across 25 courts from Friday to Sunday and this event is entirely free for spectators to come and watch – the women would love for some locals to get behind them and cheer them on.  

“We’ve played against each other lots and now we have decided to team up and along with the LA Olympics we have our sights set on the 2025 World Champs in Adelaide.”  

Australia has a long history of beach volleyball success with the women’s team taking the silver at the Tokyo Olympics, however before either the World Champs or the LA Olympics can be conquered the women have the Queensland Open to compete at.  

“This comp over the weekend will have the best from the state there and we are definitely hoping to make the final,” Phoebe said.  

The duo is also on the lookout for more sponsors and would like to publicly thank locals Coolum Fitness and Studio Pilates for helping them on their journey.  

This event is supported by Sunshine Coast Council through the Major Event Sponsorship Program, and regional tourism body Visit Sunshine Cost. 

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