Sitting Volleyball plants roots in Buckinghamshire
9th August 2018
Sitting Bucks Volleyball is a new club that has slid on to the scene and is set to make an impact on the accessibility of sitting volleyball in England.
Founded after identifying a geographical gap in the spread of sitting volleyball clubs across England, Steve Smith, referee veteran of the sitting volleyball circuit, is at the helm of the new club.
Just last May, Steve was the second referee in the titanic, five set thriller Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix Final that was broadcast live on BBC sport and which brought sitting volleyball into the limelight.
Now Steve has turned to the launch of Sitting Bucks Volleyball, “there aren’t any clubs that are established north of London and south of Loughborough,” Steve explained, “so Richard Osborne came up to me and suggested the idea of creating a sitting volleyball club within the Buckinghamshire area.”
With Richard being the current GB development squad coach and UK Invictus Games coach, a job he earned following an epic and moving tale of coaching the Georgian squad to victory at the Toronto Invictus Games in 2017, it’s fair to say he knows a thing or two about the sport.
Steve expanded, “Richard pointed out that around 10 players had already expressed an interest, so we canvased for ideas from them to solve things like date, location, cost and time etc. We then designed a poster to advertise sessions, which was well received as we were able to run five sessions with enough players turning up to look to form a squad.”
While still in the development stage and eager for numbers to grow, Steve is hopeful for the future of the new club, “once we have a regular squad of players together, then we are looking to enter them into the Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix,” which would provide a healthy competitive outlet for the players and an injection into the numbers of teams entering the competition, which opened for entries earlier this week.
In time, Steve has ambitions for the club to become more independent, “we are hoping to gain some Sport England funding to take the club to the next level as at the moment we are having to share kit, equipment and facilities with another volleyball club. We also have an idea of where we can get additional funding through sponsorship and are looking to maybe set up some fundraising activities to help fund for kit, equipment and other club expenses.”
And the club has already secured some much welcome support, “Daniel Bingley has been a massive help to me as he looks after the team if I can’t make it,” for instance, if already committed to refereeing a fixture. “Additionally, Daniel is looking to do his coaching badges, which will help not only with his own development but also that of the club.”
With aspirations to expand the club to include a junior section in the future and enter competitions in addition to the Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix, Steve is confident that the sport will sell the new club: “anyone can play sitting volleyball, there is no specific type of player. As it’s an inclusive sport it is for both disabled and able-bodied players, in teams of mixed abilities. It’s a good sport to play if you have problems in other sports with injuries as you only have to do limited movements”.
To find out more about Sitting Bucks Volleyball, including the club’s training sessions, you can join the Sitting Bucks Facebook group or contact Steve Smith via 07779 229 924
Interested in sitting volleyball in a wider context? Anyone wanting to register their interest - as a player, coach, club administrator or volunteer – can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Feature written by Daniel Bryans.