Volley2s helps to capitalise on Haikyu-inspired junior surge
2nd September 2021
The Volley2s programme has helped West Riding Volleyball Club to introduce young Haikyu fans to volleyball. Chairman James Oliver talks about their experience so far.
As a club we are rather unique. With most clubs being based in a town, city or district we cover a total of 12 districts from the old County of West Riding. We currently run Junior sessions in Bradford, Leeds and Wakefield for our juniors, led by our Head of Juniors, Prakash Mistry. Since 2017, Prakash and I have been trying to find new and exciting ways to grow junior volleyball participation and develop the next generation of volleyball players.
After reaching out to Nick Shaffrey and the Children and Young People Working Group, we came up with a plan to deliver Volley2s to all our U11s. My experience working in primary and secondary PE environments helped me to trial Volley2s and adapt it to different age groups.
At West Riding Volleyball Club, we have used Smashball (a Volleyball Canada initiative) and Smash Volley (both the Belgian and Dutch youth initiatives), but have found the Volley2s model – especially its progression through Red, Amber, Green and Gold stages – easier for coaches and teachers to understand and differentiate to their students and players.
Like many other clubs, we have seen a huge influx of players recently, in part down to the interest in the Netflix anime series, Haikyu. This has brought a lot of juniors, who have never played volleyball before, into the sport. So Volley2s has been so helpful for us.
We currently run junior sessions three times a week averaging over 20 attending every session. We have embodied the philosophy of Volley2s across all our social turn up and play sessions, where players can get a variety of games and skills but with a strong emphasis on learning through playing and having fun. This is something most of our members have been asking for following the lockdowns.
Next we are looking at developing our current links with the primary and secondary schools and colleges that our members attend. As well as reaching out to the local schools and the venues we use to encourage them to offer volleyball in PE, and hopefully support the running of after school clubs. We are getting a lot of interest, and we are hoping coaching courses will be able to start up again soon, as we have a lot of volunteers who want to coach.
We want to support and develop a local junior series to provide more opportunities for young people, as there are a limited range of opportunities for them to play games, especially U11s.
We believe Volley2s can mark the way forward for junior development and will be key to maintaining junior participation and providing a structured pathway. This will allow juniors to play in senior competitions when they are ready rather than playing because it is the only option.
Download your free copy of the guide to teaching and coaching Volley2s here: https://bit.ly/34WFrfM