Five pupils from The GORSE Academies Trust are celebrating in style having been selected from hundreds of junior players nationally for the U17 England Cadets Volleyball programme.
Fola Alasade, Emmanuel Oretoye and Joshua Cosgrove from The Farnley Academy and Daniella Tchandeu and Essay Mulubrhan from The Ruth Gorse Academy will be joining the England U17 Cadets cohort from mid-November with opportunities to represent their country at training camps in France and Portugal, tournaments in Italy and competitions in the North European Volleyball Zonal Association. This will include matches against Denmark, Greenland, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Finland, Sweden and Norway.
The selection of the five students to the national team marks a key milestone in the development of volleyball within The GORSE Academies Trust and across Leeds more widely. The trust and one of its schools are named in honour of a former head of PE Ruth Gorse who was herself an international volleyball player. The sport is now one of what the trust calls ‘The Big 3’ alongside rowing and karate with each of the sports being led by coaching staff of the highest calibre. Leeds Volleyball Club is also now based at The Ruth Gorse Academy and is now called Leeds GORSE Volleyball Club.
The students were prepared for the trials over many months of competitive training and matches but were still nervous when it came to the selections which took place on 1 and 2 October. Essay Mulubrhan said "I was nervous during the warmup, but as the day went on, I didn't feel out of place, but just kept trying my best. My friends and I from the club (LGVC) were happy we spent so much time on skills and technique, because you needed good ball control for most of the trial. It seemed like the hard work paid off."
Daniella Tchandeu was equally excited, "Looking back, I'm so happy I went to extracurricular volleyball! If I dedicate myself to something, I know now, I can do it. After going through England trials and making new friends from across the country, I have more courage to play and confidence to meet new people. I'm excited to begin and am happy Fola and I can support each other on our volleyball journey."
Director of Volleyball at GORSE, Elaine Brown is certain that this success marks the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in volleyball across the trust. “At GORSE we are determined to ensure that all students are given the opportunity to try new and, sometimes out of the norm activities, and to find a sport they enjoy, hopefully for life. We are so proud of our students’ success in volleyball and cannot wait to see them represent their country on the international stage.”