Student Hannah Loy met top volleyball players when she helped at a championship at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering. Hannah volunteered after hearing about the opportunity from sports teacher Mrs Bryan.
She said: ‘I put my application in to help at the NEVZA event (Northern European Volleyball Zonal Association). I started on Friday evening after school as a court-side assistant, then scorer. I was then asked to be a line judge, which was quite scary, because I was the youngest volunteer there. I was line-judge for a five-set match which lasted about three hours and I had to stand up and keep my eye on the ball for the whole time. The high spot for me was line judging and I would definitely do it again.’
The competition was for U-17 teams and participants from all over Europe entered the competition with teams from as far afield as Norway and Sweden taking part.
Hannah said: ‘I had to be there for 7.30 on Saturday morning and did admin, and rounded up the teams for photographs before scoring my first game until about 2 o’clock when I was scoring the first game, I was doing admin, running around finding where the teams were because we had to get pictures. I got to meet lots of the teams. It was really friendly and there were spectators and VIPs there including Maria Bertelli who played for Team GB in the Olympics.’
Hannah started playing the sport herself about a year ago: ‘When Alex Hajigeorgieva came from Volleyball England she taught a few of us how to teach volleysport which is the first stage of teaching volleyball to younger kids. We passed the course and she came back to teach us actual volleyball so we started attending competitions at school and at KLV which is the National Volleyball Centre.’