22 Jun 2023

How Worthing Volleyball Club capitalised on the growing interest in junior volleyball

How Worthing Volleyball Club capitalised on the growing interest in junior volleyball

For the first time ever, Worthing Volleyball Club was not only nominated but won the Huck Nets Club of the Year Award 2022-23 at the Annual Awards.

This case study highlights the challenges faced by the club in the last three years, how they proactively looked for solutions in different areas and the impact it had.



Coping with the influx of young people who had never played the game before while also ensuring everyone was paying. Developing the junior section without compromising the growing adult sessions and managing the increased burden on their volunteer coaches as a result. 


In response to the increased junior interest in volleyball, the club realised early on that adding more sessions would put tremendous strain on the club’s only two coaches. 

To cope with this massive influx while also ensuring that the coaches are not burdened, the club liaised with Volleyball England and organised coaching courses to train new people. 

During the Covid lockdown, the club continued to run coaching sessions outdoors, marking up tennis courts in freezing temperatures, often despite rain and hail. More and more young people started to attend at a time when most other sports had been cancelled. 

The club gradually expanded their range of junior coaching sessions, with boys and girls playing together. Keeping the sessions fun, informative, and fast-moving has been the key.

There was a realisation they had to keep developing and offer new opportunities to junior members given that young people often have a great demand on their time, especially from other sports. The club has always been keen on creating opportunities for all abilities. 

A year ago, the club developed a pathway for those wanting to progress to a higher level by launching its innovative weekly Academy sessions to offer more advanced coaching to 30 promising youngsters, and that scheme continues to expand.

Club volunteer coaches have shown immense dedication, having spent many weekends ferrying boys and girls back and forth to tournaments and junior competitions.  

Keeping fees low has also been important. Junior fees, which include weekly training sessions, matches, Grand Prix events, and summers on beach courts, are just £7.50 a month (adults are £15). The club has also set up an online ordering system with a local sports store to supply club kits at affordable prices. 

On the governance side, the club has always been keen to include all members in the decision-making process and came up with an innovative strategy to attract people to the AGM. Over 120 members, more than half of them juniors, attended the last AGM - undoubtedly tempted by the offer of outside volleyball before the meeting and free pizza. 

Making the youngsters feel a valued part of the club is vital. The club finds it essential to keep regular contact, especially so parents have confidence. The club ensures everyone is signed up to Spond app as a way to manage club communication and ensure everyone is kept up-to-date 

The club also embraced social media last year, setting up, InstagramFacebook and TikTok accounts for the first time while continuing to emphasise word of mouth through a network of different schools. The online content is aimed to share what the club is all about to the potential new members and make the existing members feel part of something. Club’s Instagram presence, especially, also played a huge role in the surge of new young members. 


Through organising the regular coaching courses, the club was now grown from two coaches initially to eleven coaches with two of them U18.  

The junior memberships have grown by 10 times in the last three years, from a dozen to 126 (57 male, 65 female and four non-binary), along with developing ten young teams. Worthing also hosts a number of events with at least one entry in every age and gender group. The U18 boys finished tenth in Tier 1, and the U16 boys and U15 girls competed in Tier 1 for the first time. 

New juniors are signing up every week, with very few being lost. The club has some very talented young players, some of whom have made it to the England level. The club also has a lot of youngsters who don’t play any other sports, and their development is just as important to them.

Future Plans 

The plans for bringing in even younger members are already in progress. The club starts at age 11 but looking to extend its coaching to appeal to the 6-11 age group. 

They would like to provide them with an introductory pack, which includes a soft feel ball, with the club expanding into the local community and trying to attract local sponsors to help fund these packs. 

The club is developing a national league team ensuring a pathway for youngsters. To ensure juniors have a say in how the club runs and develop an understanding of how and why certain decisions are made, the club is setting up a junior committee. 

Worthy winners 

The adaptation to the change, a need to find solutions to tap into the growing junior interest in the sport and, most importantly, the volunteer efforts gone behind making the year so successful was clear as the messages in favour of the club poured in to make Worthing Volleyball the Huck Net Club of the Year 2022-23.   

“We know there are hundreds of clubs around the country just like us, who rely on the input of volleyball-loving volunteers. So, this award is a tribute to all those small clubs.

Tell us your club's story  

Do you know anyone, a club or an organisation with a similar success story that we can all learn from?  

If yes, please write to us at: membership@volleyballengland.org.