Seashore volleyball participant Taliqua Clancy is used to actuality checks when she goes house — particularly when her nieces don’t see a medal. However her innate confidence ready her for gold, writes LACHLAN McKIRDY.
Skilled athletes are often not missing in motivation. However even they will nonetheless depend on the household’s bluntness to drag off essentially the most brutal actuality checks.
It’s one thing Taliqua Clancy will get each time she returns house from a event with out a medal in tow.
“My Aunt Kathleen, my mom’s little sister, she has our two lovely little nieces,” Clancy tells CODE Sports activities.
“That’s why I like calling them up as a result of they kicked my butt earlier this yr. I got here again from an occasion and I didn’t have a medal they usually mentioned, ‘What’s up, Aunt T?’
“Each time I obtain a brand new little trophy or medal, I ensure that they comprehend it’s coming house to them. You’re a bit spoiled!”
Clancy has given her nieces a lot to play with over the previous couple of years and has teamed up with Mariafe Artacho del Photo voltaic for a heap of success on this planet of seashore volleyball.
That included gold on this month’s Volleyball World Seashore Professional Tour Problem occasion in Portugal, her final event earlier than the Commonwealth Video games.
However there was one medal her nieces weren’t allowed to play with, and never simply due to its sentimental worth.
“After I introduced house the Olympic medal, it was half a pound and considerably heavier and extra particular than a variety of the opposite medals they get,” says Clancy.
“[Their parents] are like, ‘No, no, no’. They returned it. It wasn’t proper as a result of they’d compete for it.
“So I believe it’s essential that I can convey house the gold medal this time to allow them to struggle for which medal is theirs.”
It’s clear how essential household is to Clancy.
Proud Mrs. Wulli Wulli and Goreng Goreng speaks at size in regards to the significance of neighborhood and the way it all begins together with her mom, Shannon. Although she’s not afraid to convey Clancy again to Earth both.
“It’s a complete village, it’s very particular,” says Clancy.
“The half I really like is that my mother is worked up, however on the identical time she’s hiding it too. I all the time appreciated that half, I believe that made me hold that starvation and never get complacent.
“I don’t need to get massive headed. We now have sufficient vanity. Each athlete has that half, in any other case we wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing. We firmly imagine that we may be one of the best on this planet and that no person can cease us.
“We rejoice these moments, however it doesn’t change every part.”
The medals and trophies that don’t go to her nieces stand proud at her grandparents’ house in Kingaroy.
And whereas Clancy’s accomplishments proceed to be celebrated, even she appears to partake in a household custom that ensures she doesn’t get forward of herself.
“They’re very proud, however I don’t suppose they are going to be exhibited.
“I believe they’re in a field someplace!”
The partnership between Clancy and Artacho del Photo voltaic appears to suit collectively completely.
After getting collectively as a pair in late 2017 – aside from a couple of junior tournaments performed years earlier – their chemistry was on show for all to see.
Clancy believes it’s a shared want to be one of the best on and off the pitch that has introduced them a lot success.
“We’ve positively all the time had that [chemistry],” She says.
“I believe there’s simply elements of her fireplace and my fireplace that absolutely match. We now have actually sturdy aspirations and we need to finish our careers realizing we gave it our all and that helps the chemistry.
“We’re right here to maintain going by the awkward moments as a result of it’s positively not all roses, particularly as Covid has made it a lot harder.
“We don’t maintain one another again, so the sky’s the restrict for us.”
However whereas they’ve their very own expectations and have their very own areas on tour wherever attainable, they now know the general public thinks the identical manner.
Silver on the 2018 Commonwealth Video games and silver on the Tokyo Olympics. They’re sensible performances to succeed in the ultimate sport of two of the most important worldwide tournaments, however it means the need to win gold is even higher.
“It’s even weirder to have already got that type of expectation from the Australian neighborhood, however I get pleasure from that too,” says Clancy.
“Each athlete’s dream is to ultimately develop into the hunted and we put ourselves in that place and simply embrace every part new that comes our manner.
“We love the massive moments. We’re positively a crew that loves this massive middle courtroom. We’re allowed to placed on a present.”
The 12 months since Tokyo have been about studying to regulate the adrenaline that comes with the massive video games.
They gained’t be up towards Individuals April Ross and Alix Klineman, who took the Olympic gold from the Australian pair in straight units. However there are nonetheless loads of difficult groups standing of their manner in the event that they need to go one higher in Birmingham.
“Comm Video games remains to be very particular to us as a result of it was very early in our partnership, it actually set us in movement for the outcomes to come back.
“We now have to be actually affected person with how we strategy issues. It’s all the time level by level and we are able to actually plan and deal with processes for the massive success.
“Melissa and Sarah [from Canada] will probably be our strongest competitors. I believe New Zealand may have a stronger crew and Vanuatu are all the time extraordinarily sturdy.
“We now know and trust that we are able to beat any crew on this planet. After we burn, we’re unstoppable.”
And it wouldn’t be a serious worldwide occasion for Clancy with out the Aboriginal flag on her nails that has made her so well-known.
“I really feel like I’ve to! It’s essential to me too and it simply offers me that further connection and makes it further particular.”
Earlier than she went to the 2016 Olympics, Clancy by no means actually thought-about herself a task mannequin.
She wished to make an influence in her neighborhood, however she took this chance to compete on the worldwide stage to open her eyes to the probabilities. And he or she hasn’t seemed again since.
“I believe Submit-Rio was the second, it was the wake-up name,” says Clancy.
“The complete focus was on competing in your first Olympics and that opened my eyes to the truth that I can do extra and that I’ve a accountability to do extra.
“But it surely’s a contented accountability. It’s positively not a burden. It’s simply that I’ve this expectation of myself to do my finest to offer again.”
Earlier this yr, Clancy was elected to the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Athletes’ Fee. It’s a group that advises the AOC on athlete questions and considerations, and Clancy will develop into the second Indigenous voice to sit down on the physique alongside boxer Alex Winwood.
She has seen firsthand the enhancements that the present period of the AOC has introduced by way of recognizing Indigenous athletes – notably the institution of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Council.
Though now we have seen a file variety of Indigenous athletes compete for Australia on the Tokyo Olympics, Clancy is aware of there may be rather more to be achieved, one thing that may now be achieved extra effectively with the best fundamentals.
“It nonetheless feels very academic to stroll into this house. It’s unimaginable that I can be taught from different athletes there and hopefully assist create higher trails for different athletes to come back by, particularly Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander folks.
“We’re in a really lucky place as athletes and I really feel an important obligation to offer again. And I believe sport is simply among the finest platforms to convey everybody collectively.
“I believe the previous Olympians simply did an incredible job. Uncle Danny Morseau, Patrick Johnson, Kyle Vander-Kuyp, Becky Smith, they actually all obtained collectively and simply modified every part in a really quick period of time.
“I believe it’s positively transferring in the best course. Components are nonetheless lacking, as a result of sport is only the start to open folks’s eyes.
“We nonetheless have an extended method to go.”
Clancy is younger at coronary heart.
Regardless of turning 30 in June, she has set her sights on competing within the 2032 Brisbane Olympics. A house Olympics would imply the world if her household might see her on the world’s biggest sporting occasion.
However away from volleyball, Clancy has already thought-about the influence she might have. And all of it stems from the love of household and neighborhood that drives her to today.
“I positively know I need to work in Aboriginal well being and stuff like that,” says Clancy.
“I believe Lethal Selections permits every part I need to work with after my volleyball profession. Through which space I’m unsure but.
“I’m hoping to go by 2032, so I’ve given myself a little bit of time. I’m very obsessed with serving to wherever I can provide again to communities is the place my coronary heart is.”
Working as an envoy for Lethal Selections has develop into Clancy’s break from volleyball. When she’s not within the sand, she makes use of her place to create constructive change.
“It doesn’t even really feel like work, it simply refreshes me.”
But it surely additionally permits you to mirror.
Considering of a younger Taliqua Clancy rising up in Kingaroy. To think about what it will imply to them to see a task mannequin returning to the neighborhood with Olympic medals.
If she will be able to share this message of hope with only one particular person, she will probably be joyful.
“I’m all the time prepared to step out of my consolation zone and check out new issues. I positively hope to symbolize and encourage that, as a result of you need to attempt new issues.
“I nonetheless should pinch myself although it’s all I’ve ever dreamed of and set my thoughts to. I used to be a really quiet shy child which is type of loopy for those who meet me now folks can’t actually get me to close up.
“It’s the persistence and saying sure and making an attempt, it pays off. Don’t restrict your self as a result of there may be a lot extra to attain.
“Seize the alternatives that come up, it pays off.”
https://www.codesports.com.au/commonwealth-games/humble-family-hero-taliqua-clancys-beach-volleyball-evolution/news-story/dbdf0a69cff142ff2283e526d8591009?nk=4c1fbf3182344c6876b7994c2456eb9c-1659322872 Commonwealth Video games 2022: Taliqua Clancy, seashore volleyball star, on Mariafe Artacho del Photo voltaic, Brisbane 2032 Olympics