Eseta Semisi – Auckland Central Volleyball Club | Faces of Auckland Sport and Recreation Volunteers

Published on Thursday 15 June, 2023
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Volleyball is life for Eseta Semisi. She lives and breathes the sport, which she’s played and coached for 20 years, and wants to spread the word about it to as many people as possible.

As a volunteer at Auckland Central Volleyball Club, Eseta is doing her bit to grow volleyball in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland through coaching competitive teams and organising social leagues and youth programs.

For Eseta, it’s all about helping others enjoy the sport she loves. “The smiles and the enjoyment are what keeps me coming back,” says Eseta. “You can’t beat that.”

How did you get involved in volleyball?

I’ve been playing volleyball for 20 years. I grew up in Australia, and I started playing there. I’ve been back and forth between New Zealand and Australia, until about nine years ago where I settled in Auckland. I started coaching as a volunteer at Auckland Central Volleyball Club and have been part of the club ever since.

What motivated you to volunteer?

I love volleyball! It’s a huge part of my life. It got me through a lot of hard times as a teenager; it was a lifeboat for me during those tough times, and I wanted to be able to give that support to other people. I love coaching, and teaching players about the game. I love the ‘ahhh’ moments, where something clicks and a player understands what you’re teaching them. Those are the best moments.

What does volunteering in your role involve?

I volunteer as a coach for teams across Auckland Central Volleyball. We’re growing as a club: we have a competitive programme with four teams made up of 60 players. Our social sessions have around 40 people taking part, up to three times a week. We’ve got more than 50 kids between the ages of 8 and 16, and a beach volleyball competition too.

The club is all about getting people into the sport, so I get to pass on what I love about the sport and try to grow it in Auckland. Some weeks I’ll be taking training sessions every night. Games can take around three to four hours too, so we generally black out our entire Saturday!

To lots of people that would seem like a lot of time, but because of my passion for volleyball it passes by so quickly for me. I love being part of it. As a parent I also get to coach my child, too. We’re training him up as a volleyball coach within our kids’ programme, which is awesome.

What’s the one most important thing you teach your students?

Teamwork, and having trust in your team. You really need to rely on the people next to you. If you can’t trust the person next to you, you won’t achieve your goal. You can’t be a solo player. I teach my players that we all win together, and we all lose together.

What’s one piece of advice would you give to people considering volunteering in sport and recreation in Auckland?

You need to be really clear on what your ‘why’ is. There will be some times when you’re going to question why you’re volunteering your time, but if your ‘why’ is strong, you’ll get through it and be rewarded.

Volleyball is growing really quickly in Auckland, and we need more volunteers to keep that growth going. There are clubs everywhere, and we can point people in the right direction for anyone who wants to help out in any way. If anyone wants to help us, get in touch – let’s do this!

Aktive and One New Zealand are thrilled to be working together to celebrate our awesome volunteers who make Auckland sport and recreation possible.

Volunteers generously give their time, knowledge, and skills to community sport and recreation, making for a happier, healthier Tāmaki Makaurau.

If you’re interested in volunteering, have a chat with your local sports club or recreation group – we’re sure your support will be hugely appreciated!