Roelands family share inspiring story with volleyball

A family affair: Brad and Candice Barclay with their two sons, Heath and Taj. Picture: Pip Waller
A family affair: Brad and Candice Barclay with their two sons, Heath and Taj. Picture: Pip Waller

CANDICE and Brad Barclay were playing volleyball when they first met. At 16 and 18, Candice was playing indoor beach volleyball when Brad joined the team.

Brad told the Mail he used to "hang out after games" to chat to Candice.

"All our friends were playing volleyball, so it blossomed from there," Brad said. "I also may have stolen her number off the scoresheet."

Today, the Barclay's have been together for 23 years, and their two sons, 10-year-old Heath and 12-year-old Taj play beside them.

Both Candice and Brad have a range of awards and accolades, but their stories are somewhat different - with Brad losing his leg in a workplace accident in 2018.

Overcoming obstacles: Brad said he was back playing volleyball just six months after his leg needed to be amputated. Picture: Pip Waller

Overcoming obstacles: Brad said he was back playing volleyball just six months after his leg needed to be amputated. Picture: Pip Waller

He was looking online to hire a wheelchair for basketball when he found the Disability Sports Australia website.

"It was only six months after my amputation but I saw they were looking for para volleyball players so I put my name in. I was asked to play volleyball in China in 2020 - I didn't even have a prosthetic leg yet. Since my accident I've been on the Australian Beach Volleyball Team and currently rank number six in the world. I now work for Volleyball WA and am on the committee for World Para Volleyball."

Candice, who is principal of Treendale Primary School said playing the sport helped her balance the stress of work with commitment to something "entirely different".

"For me it's about having that switch off and downtime between work and sport and it's made me a better parent and a better principal because I've got more time to dedicate to the things I love."