Representing his adopted country on sports’ grandest stage is the ultimate dream for Volleyroos squad member Cole Durant.
The 24-year-old moved to Perth from South Africa when he was seven years old, and he said competing for Australia in beach volleyball at the Rio Olympics “would be amazing”.
“I am 100 per cent Aussie these days, and I spent my school years here,” he said. “I first represented the country at the 2009 Junior World Championships, and it was there that I really learned the culture of the team and what it meant to represent Australia.”
Durant and Casey Grice are the defending men’s champions of the Alcohol. Think Again Beach Volleyball Tour – MRA WA Open, which was held over the past weekend. They are in good form having been runners-up at the Australian Beach Volleyball Championships in the Gold Coast recently.
But at the Alcohol. Think Again Beach Volleyball Tour – MRA WA Open, Durant was partnered with Bo Soderberg to reflect the combinations competing for Australia’s Olympic qualifying berths.
Last year, Durant relocated to Adelaide to train with the national team in a determined bid to realise his dreams of making the Rio Olympics.
Durant said training had been “rigorous” but believed he was not daunted by the expectations and pressures of an arduous Olympic selection campaign. “Being an Olympian has been a dream of mine ever since I realised what I wanted to do with my life,” he said.
“It would be a joy to compete on the world’s biggest stage and at the greatest event in sports. But right now it’s just about focusing on the task and earning that right. I have to put in the hard yards and do the work to get a spot.”
Durant was excited to play at the Alcohol. Think Again Beach Volleyball Tour – MRA WA Open. “It is great to come home and I love competing in Scarborough,” he said.