Thanks to the commitment of a passionate and talented group of international players and coaches, the St Andrews Volleyball Club is proud to announce its ascent to the status of a University Focus Sport!
Volleyball is one of the most widely played sports worldwide and has seen unprecedented growth on a competitive scale in the past few decades. This growth is also apparent in Scottish volleyball, as illustrated by its increasing popularity as a university sport.
The St Andrews volleyball club has grown tremendously in size and talent, and is now made up of two competitive women’s teams, one men’s team, and a recreational team. The teams have demonstrated athletic prowess and dedication to the sport which has translated to brilliant successes in recent years. Two years ago the Men’s team was crowned Division II champions and are now competing with the top Scottish teams in Division I.
The Women’s Firsts 2012/2013 season was nothing short of spectacular. As undefeated champions of Scottish Division I, the team placed third in the UK-wide BUCS Championships, thus earning the University of St Andrews Team of the Year Award.
With aims to match and surpass past successes, the volleyball club has stepped up their game for what looks to be a very strong 2013/2014 season. Men’s 1st, currently positioned in third place, has high hopes of moving up in their Division before the season’s end. The Women’s 1st team is currently leading Division I and will strive to defend their title against rival competitors Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The Women’s 2nds team is also growing in size and reputation, and has just appointed a new coach for this season. The men’s team and Women’s Firsts also feature in the Scottish Cup, tackling experienced teams from the Scottish national league as an additional challenge. While the Men’s team suffered an unfortunate loss after a tough struggle against Edinburgh Jets II, the Women’s 1st team has won both of their games.
For non-competitive players, this year has been the start of a big push by the club to increase the popularity of its recreational sessions. This two hour practice, coached by a dedicated committee member, has grown into a session attended by a regular group of players looking to learn volleyball skills and play socially.
The club is always looking for more members, and those who are looking to try their hand at volleyball should join in on these recreational sessions (which run 3-5 on Fridays on a drop-in basis)!
Saints Volleyball is also very proud of its highly successful volunteer programmes, both at home and abroad. This year has seen the debut of an outreach with local secondary schools. Coaches and players from the club volunteer once a week at Madras College to run after school volleyball sessions.
Another exciting volunteering initiative has been the Saints Volleyball Outreach Programme (SVO), created in 2012 by members of the Women’s Firsts volleyball team. Last summer, five women from the team went to Lusaka, Zambia, where they coached volleyball to local secondary schools. As volleyball is amongst the most popular sports in Zambia, the demand for coaching is very high. In cooperation with the Zambian NGO Sport In Action, the girls acted as coaching volunteers with the overall goals of social and economic empowerment through sport.
SVO is running the same programme for summer 2014 with seven women’s team players travelling to Zambia in hopes of demonstrating a long-term commitment to the development of volleyball in Zambia.
If you want to witness first hand the unique spirit of the thriving St Andrews Volleyball Club, join us for our last home games of the semester.
On 1 December, from 13:30, both the Women’s and Men’s 1st teams face our rivals, the University of Edinburgh. This promises to be a Sunday worth coming out for to show some support.