Coleraine, a town on the River Bann in Northern Ireland, played host to the CEV School Project recently. This was the appropriate venue for such an action, as the local Ulster University hosted for many years an Easter trainiAng school whereat most of Northern Ireland’s Volleyball coaches and referees obtained their qualifications. However, this month it was the Primary School children to take the spotlight, who showed a bright future for Northern Ireland’s Volleyball family.
Eleven teams from five local Primary Schools and their teachers took part in a very happy Mini-Volleyball tournament at the Coleraine Leisure Centre supported by the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
Jonathan McFadden, Sport Development Manager, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said: “The Mini-Volleyball Development programme currently running in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough has enabled us to link with a new governing body and offer the schools in the borough the opportunity to learn and develop new skills in a fast and exciting sport. Causeway Coast and Glens prides itself in its sporting diversity and strong community sport programmes. Mini-Volleyball adds to this community approach and we hope to strengthen the links and help grow the programme in the coming months.”
The podium of the competition featuring pupils from Ballysally Primary School (first), Harpur’s Hill PS (2.) and Macosquin PS (3.)
Jeff Scott, Primary Class 7 teacher from Harpur’s Hill Primary School said: “The children in my class have really enjoyed this programme. They have been excited for weeks for the celebration day that we had where they were able to put what they learnt into practice when playing fun games against other schools. My pupils have already been asking me about opportunities for them to play it even more, either in local clubs or within school again next year.”
Ian Walker, Head Coach of the Blaze Volleyball Academy and former NIR Youth Coach also made an appearance at the festival. “What a great event! Our sport is at last being delivered to a much younger generation than normal in Northern Ireland! This is the start of something great with so many children really enjoying the experience. It will also give the older students a chance to serve in a different way in Volleyball. Something that we have lacked in Northern Ireland. Thank you to the CEV and NI Volleyball for making this happen.”
Project Coordinator Joanna McCrory was thrilled with the outcome: “This has been a very exciting project and it is promising to see so much enthusiasm coming from the children and their teachers. We hope that our cooperation with the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and the CEV Development Department will continue and we will be able to introduce Volleyball to many more schools in Northern Ireland.”