Try out for England! Cadet trials near sign-up deadline
4th October 2018
An exciting opportunity for young athletes to join the first step on the England National Talent Pathway has opened, with trials taking place over the weekend of 21st and 22nd October at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering, NN15 6PB – one week before the England junior squads, the next step in the pathway following the cadets, will compete in the NEVZA U19 Championships.
Providing an opportunity for young athletes to demonstrate their skills and tactical awareness, the trials are aimed at those not currently in the cadet squads, with the boys' trial taking place on Saturday 20th October and the girls on 21st October.
The trials are open to British Citizens born in 2003, 2004 or later and places can be booked by filling in the sign-up form by midnight on Monday 8th October. Costing £35 per trialist and including a hot meal for the day, athletes will be spilt into two groups prior to the trials, with the day running from 9.30-16.00 for group 1 and 11.00 – 17.30 for group two.
How the trials work
Replicating the environment of a typical day at a national training camp weekend, the trials will provide young athletes with an insight into what it’s like to be a member of the national talent pathway setup, a key part of which are the monthly camps. Additionally, the young athletes will have the chance to discover their current physical profile by taking part in a range of tests including: spike reach, block reach, spike jump, block jump and measurements.
As a fundamentally important part of a young athlete’s development, parents/guardians are invited to attend a meeting with Volleyball England staff, including Technical and Talent Coordinator Gillian Harrison and Academy and Technical Lead Bertrand Olie, to discuss the cadet programme and expectations of the athletes in the pathway.
The talent pathway
In recent years the cadet squad has launched the playing careers of many athletes who have gone on to achieve results overseas and play professionally. For instance, former cadet Zachary Palankay-Omoshebi has joined the professional club of Tours, who were French Champions in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2018. Also making the journey from the cadets to France, Megan Viggars has played 3 seasons with Evreux and is set for her first season with Saint-Raphael Volleyball Club for 2018-19.
Michelle Daniels made the transition through the National Talent Pathway to a professional contract in Sweden – which appears to be a popular destination as former cadets Alex Jenkins, Sam Shenton and Ieuan Lamb are all currently playing for Vingåkers VK for the 2018-19 season.
Javier Bello and Joaquin Bello, who made history by becoming the 2017 Youth Commonwealth Games beach volleyball gold medallists and later qualifying for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games, in addition to Ellie Austin and Holly Bentley, who finished in 9th place at the 2018 CEV U20 Beach Volleyball Championships and Ellie Austin and Yasmin Kaashoek, who achieved 5th place at the Youth Commonwealth Games, are yet more great athletes to have come through the cadets ranks.
With all these athletes starting with the England cadets, successful trialists who make it into the squad will have a plethora of role models to look up to and emulate.
Places can be booked by completing the sign-up form and paying the £35 fee by midnight on Monday 8th October.