A number of our students volunteered at the National Volleyball Centre seeing top volleyball players from Northern Europe at the recent NEVZA U-17 International Championships. 20 students attended on the first day and some elected to volunteer for the remainder of the competition over that weekend.
Year 9 students Dara President and Caoimhe Tapp were involved in courtside tasks while Ioana Voidoc from Year 10 carried out line judging and scoring. During a break in the competition Dara and Caoimhe were spotted practising their volleyball and were invited to train with the East Midlands U-14 squad. Caoimhe has already attended one training session and Dara is due to join her at the next one in Mansfield. In addition Ioana has been selected to undertake some officiating courses funded by Volleyball England to become a fully trained line judge.
Dara said: ‘We volunteered for tasks like mopping the court and collecting balls that had gone off-court. There are always lots of things to do. I really enjoy volleyball and it is good watching professionals do it as you can really learn from them.’
Caoimhe said: ‘The best part for me was watching all the professionals play. I went to the East Midlands squad training and the coach said I have got potential. Soon there is an inter-regional competition that East Midlands are playing in. Currently there are only 9 in the U-14 squad and the coach needs 12 so he said the chance of us playing in that is quite good.’
Ioana said: ‘I had an opportunity to do line judging and scoring. I was there for three days. I did three judging matches and five scoring. Line judging is harder because the referee is relying on you and you have to be really focused whereas as a scorer you have to rely on the referee to tell you the decision. I like playing volleyball because it is a team effort. If the team isn’t with you then you won’t succeed. The volunteering was fun because you get to meet new people and the teams communicate really well.’