It Takes A Village: The impact of support within the Volleyball Community

As ‘it takes a village to raise a child,’ and reach his or her full potential, it takes community support to make a volleyball club as successful as possible.
Over the years, The Gorse Volleyball Club and Leeds Gorse Volleyball Club have been able to grow and flourish with the help of community support.

In the local Leeds community, a small team of volunteers have stepped up to provide coaching and training for students and community members as well as mentorship, mental support and have created a safe environment open to youth and adults. Local businesses have provided donations, raffle prizes and venues for the club to utilise.

The Gorse Academies Trust promotes the sport, includes volleyball as part of the PE curriculum and hosts extra-curricular clubs. More academies are also offering their venues for evening and weekend sessions to continue growing the sport and providing more opportunities for their students and families as well as community members to take part in volleyball. This is not only excellent for the development of potential players, but also helps community members to exercise and look after their health.
As players are being introduced to volleyball from year 3, and given support each year to develop, the future of Gorse Volleyball is looking bright!

Amongst the volleyball community, The Ruth Nicholls Foundation has been instrumental in the development of volleyball in Leeds.

‘Ruth (a beloved PE teacher and former Leeds player) believed that all her students should be encouraged to participate in sport and activity no matter what their ability level. Through sport they would gain confidence, friends and improve their health… Ruth’s family wish to carry on Ruth’s philosophy of encouraging participation, through a volleyball foundation set up in her name. The Foundation is used to encourage school and junior development at grass roots level in volleyball.’

In 2019, the Ruth Nicholls Foundation donated multisport base poles along with 60 balls to support the launch of volleyball in Gorse primaries and the following year, donated 50 balls to The Ruth Gorse Academy to help the students progress during PE lessons and club training.

This year, The Volleyball England Foundation kindly provided COVID-19 safety kit, sitting volleyball posts, COVID-19 safe net and parasport volleyballs. This will help Leeds and TGAT to offer more inclusive volleyball sessions to those who are differently abled or require special needs.

Both The Gorse Volleyball Club and Leeds Gorse Volleyball Club are extremely grateful for all the support received both from the local community and English volleyball community. Volleyball has grown every year in Leeds and the level of play and progress is improving in leaps and bounds! This is evident as each junior team has consecutively reached one round further in regional and national play over the past four years. We cannot thank our supporters enough.