March 23, 2020 is the official date when the UK government announced the beginning of the lockdown to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scottish Volleyball staff members had already begun working and started envisioning and planning what Volleyball was going to look like during and after the pandemic. As any other sport and any other federation, Scottish Volleyball began delivering more online content than it had ever done before, with the aspiration to keep delivering activities, even if differently than what people were used to.
Scottish Volleyball seized the opportunity and began to develop an ambitious three-month online learning programme. The SVA staff decided to present a month of content directly related to their respective job remits.
Education and Participation Officer Martyn Johnstone delivered the content for the first month with a focus on the wellbeing and protection of Scottish Volleyball members. Scottish Volleyball offered bespoke courses to players, staff and volunteers thanks to the help of Children’s First. These courses engaged as many as 89 members and they have ensured the participating clubs and organisations are prepared to meet the new standards for child protection and wellbeing in sport.
The second month, Regional Development Officers (RDOs) Lynne Beattie and Blair Pettigrew presented the online learning programme jointly, focussing on the development of clubs, from their legal status to the management of volunteers, together with the precious help of Active Advantage. The RDO sessions were smaller, more intimate groups designed specifically to get the correct blend of learning and discussion. This action had an impressive engagement across a wide range of clubs and a consistent number of attendees.
The third month was something very new for everyone in Scotland. It was dedicated to coaching, inside out. Scottish Volleyball envisioned a new programme, something new for Volleyball in the country, with the ambition to start anew and stimulating conversations to connect and share knowledge with other countries.
The scope increased as Andy Fleming, Scottish Volleyball Coaching and Clubs Officer, started shaping it. The aim was to bring new perspectives, new topics and new ideas from outside Scotland. Fleming set conversations that would explore themes such as coaching philosophy, relationships, technical and tactical, mental and physical. It also looked at planning and performance. The engagement took the Scottish Volleyball online sessions to new levels with the team transitioning from members-only Zoom webinars to the amazing Facebook live sessions streamed on YouTube and Twitter as well. The sessions truly took on a global feel and really connected the Volleyball community in Scotland and beyond.
Scottish Volleyball would like to thank everyone that has gotten involved in the coaching connections month, while looking forward to developing more of these occasions for the volleyball community! The reach of these sessions truly exceeded everyone’s expectations. Scottish Volleyball would love to thank renowned coaches Marco Mencarelli, Vincenzo Fanizza, Simon Loftus, Morph Bowes, Steve Florio, Celso Assumpção, Joel Banks, Erin Virtue, Tamari Miyashiro, Luka Slabe and Karch Kiraly and their respective federations.