Yorkshire's new beach volleyball club
10th May 2018
With beach volleyball starring at the recent Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast, it has been great to see the sport in the spotlight and proving why it is such a great game.
Some may think that with its rainy climate England is not the most obvious place for volleyball on the sand to thrive, but those people don’t know the huge appetite and talent there is for the sport on these shores. Over 1000 players took part in the Volleyball England Beach Tour last year.
With the beach volleyball season almost upon us, it is great to hear that the passion for the sport is growing – and heading further north.
Based in Yorkshire, Skyball Beach Volleyball Club launched last month and has its sights set on growing itself and the sport. Here we hear from the newest beach volleyball club about their plans…
The Skyball Beach Volleyball Club was officially opened on 25th March 2018 as the first operating beach volleyball club in the North of England.
At the launch, the club partnered up with Active Coast from East Riding Council to deliver a full afternoon of volleyball activities on semi-permanent courts on the South Cliff beach in Bridlington.
The club afternoon started with an opening ceremony where committee and coaches held short speeches about their roles, history and the future of the club. Later on, about 20 participants got involved in ball games and a free coaching session. The sunny spring day ended up with a spectacular showcase of beach volleyball game by active members of the club and free play.
The Skyball BVC is an inclusive club and it welcomes players of all ability levels and ages. The club, which is affiliated to Volleyball England, offers membership but also pay as you go training sessions, camps and Yorkshire series tournaments.
The club’s main focus lies in the development of future talents as the club puts lots of efforts in establishing junior training. On the other hand, the club also wants to provide a professional set up for beach volleyball players to train and compete.
The club’s long-term plan is to build inland courts near York as our coaches and committee members are from that area but for now, the coaches are grateful that they can use the semi-permanent courts on golden sands of Bridlington and attract new players to the sport by training and playing on a public beach.
Setting up the club
The club was set up by a group of friends who share the passion and love for the sport. The foundation of the organisation is the Yorkshire Series tournament that Piotr and Marzena Makowski have organised since 2015, but the history of beach volleyball in the area goes much further than that. Many players from Yorkshire clubs were regularly meeting on the east coast beach in summer months after the indoor season finished and many of them have been participating in the Brid Beach tournament that attracts 100 teams each year.
When Jitka Jizerova, an active indoor player and a Volleyball England Level 3 coach, got involved in beach volleyball about two years ago, she saw the demand for the sport and potential for the creation of the first beach volleyball club in the wide area. She says: “There was beach volleyball activity in the area, but we wanted to take it further and create a club structure so there is a safe and positive environment for players to train and compete. We work in a close connection with and take example of other older clubs, but aim to be independent and special. In the end there is only one club in the whole North of England.”
The club’s development is supported by Active Coast and two local Bridlington businesses at the moment. Their sponsorship helped to purchase equipment like balls and additional nets for training and competitions. The club’s training sessions offer four different ability levels every other Saturday on the semi-permanent courts on South Cliff beach in Bridlington. The club also runs two weekends long training camps in May and three Yorkshire series competitions.
Bridlington will see players in competitions during the summer. The club is also hoping to run a junior competition in the near future.