Inspiring the next generation
1st December 2017
For young people to truly get into volleyball, they need to be inspired. They need excitement and opportunity to fall in love with a sport.
Competition is a key part of that journey. It gives the hours of practice a purpose. As anyone who has played volleyball at any level, from local leagues to the Olympic Games, knows performing in a competitive match gives an adrenaline rush which is one of the best feelings of playing sport.
That’s why the Under 15 National Championships are such an important tournament. The championships are the youngest age at which junior boys and girls can take part in a national tournament and are an entry level competition. Any team that affiliates to Volleyball England (VE) can take part, so all young players can get a taste for national competition.
“The Under 15 National Championships are great for giving young players of all abilities the chance to enjoy the thrill of competition,” says VE Competitions Coordinator, Jon Moore. “Teams from schools and clubs enter, who have players with different levels of volleyball experience.”
Teams from across the nine volleyball regions enter so the first stage of competition is a regional round. The best teams from the regional round qualify for the divisional round, which is split into north, central and south areas. The teams which are successful in the divisional round make the Finals.
“The competition is run on a geographical basis, to minimise the amount of travelling for our teams,” says Jon. “Not all teams need to have their own venue to enter. Each round is hosted at one location so teams which can host events are required to do so.”
The 2017 competition saw 72 teams take part. Tameside were victorious in the girls’ tournament, while Richmond were crowned national champions in the boys’ competition.
“The standard of volleyball is high in the tournament,” says Jon. “Teams which have not played much volleyball before often improve and enjoy it, and want to compete again the following year. It is also a starting point for the careers of the future stars of the sport. Players who take part in the championships will go on to play in the National Volleyball League, or even higher.”
“The championships are also played in a great spirit of sportsmanship, that’s one of the keys to its success. The teams often comment on the great atmosphere at the events.”
If you’re looking to help inspire the next generation of volleyballers, entering the National Under 15 Championships 2018 is a great place to start. Entries for the 2018 competition are now open. For more information and to register click here.