Category Archives: Volleyball

CEV Schools Project returns to Cork

The CEV Schools Project returned to Cork this December, thus bringing additional schools with more players into Volleyball. The six-week project began at the end of October with an introductory training day for physical education teachers. This built a base knowledge and allowed the schools to spend the next five weeks preparing their students for the fun blitzes scheduled for December 3-4 in Father Mathews Arena, Cork.

A total of 250 primary school students and over 100 post primary students will participate over the two days. The event will mean schools can compete at a similar beginner level and have challenging games through a fun and relaxed environment.

The project has much to do with the now well-established Cork club Netforce VC. The newly formed junior section will help these students have an avenue to Volleyball they can seek out after school is over to continue their development within the game. Schools will also be assisted into Volleyball Ireland’s national school competitions starting early in 2020. The real success story being Walterstown national school who started their volleyball journey at this same event last year, then making it all the way to an incredible National semi-final.

Volleyball Ireland would like to thank Cork Sports Partnership in working together on this venture and in particular James Kirby who has been a direct link and promoter of the project for the last two years.  Together, the two parties have grown from 120 primary students to an incredible 250 in just one short year. It is exciting to see where they will go next!

Volleyball Ireland host first international Youth Blitz & Camp

This weekend youth teams from across three nations will descend upon Gormanston Park College Sports complex for Volleyball Ireland’s first ever youth development blitz and camp. The weekend camp will aim to build experience for younger players through some challenging matches, without the pressure of international competition.

The event will involve teams representing Denmark and Northern Ireland, as well as a range of regional representative teams made up of Ireland’s national team members and players from the new National Youth League. The blitz style event is partly funded through the CEV/SCA development fund and the Participation to Performance Programme. The schedule and concept will help prepare young players for international competition in the future.

General Manager of Volleyball Ireland, Gary Stewart said, “A key part of the strategy is to provide more opportunities for our young players to grow and learn and we are grateful to the CEV and Small Countries Association for their support. I am sure the players and coaches will gain a lot from the weekend and I would especially like to credit our Development Officer Conor Flood for his drive and determination while developing this project. It will be great to have our friends from Denmark and Northern Ireland with us for the weekend.”

This is the first international youth event of this kind hosted by Volleyball Ireland. The aim is to grow the event, providing opportunities for young Irish Volleyballers to enjoy, learn and develop their skills. It will be the first in a series of international age group events that will provide opportunities for players to reach their potential.

If anyone wishes to come along and watch, there is free entry.

The teams will kick-start the weekend with some training slots on Friday evening. Games will commence 9.30am, Saturday November 30 and will run through until 5pm. Then it is onto dinner and Saturday night activities exclusively for the players and coaches.

The camp will finish on Sunday morning with some light training sessions and fun mixed games.

Ireland launches fundamental Movement Skills programme

Volleyball Ireland were delighted to launch a new programme as part of the CEV Schools Project. Mini Spikers uses Volleyball to develop Fundamental Movement Skills in children aged 5-8 years old. This focus on physical literacy reinforces the building blocks for all sports with specific games to aid improvement in running, catching, throwing and hitting.  The first intake of schools took part in a launch event at Volleyball Ireland’s National Finals Weekend in May where over 50 children from local primary schools enjoyed Volleyball for the first time.

Programme Coordinator Jessie Carmody said, “Mini Spikers is about helping children improve their agility, balance and coordination as well as other elements of physical literacy. Research has shown that if a child has competent physical literacy, they are more likely to stay in sport. For Volleyball, it is vital that children can throw, catch, strike and jump before we introduce the specific skills of the dig, serve and spike. It is about getting the right foundation in place. There is a positive correlation between a child’s competency level and their enjoyment of a sport. And if they enjoy a sport, they will keep playing.”

Mini Spikers is part of a thorough pathway for participation in Ireland, which includes age appropriate adapted games for children from 5 years old right through to active elders aged 95 years old.

The programme is open to all schools with teacher training and resources provided to help school staff introduce Mini Spikers.

Cyprus sports family united to grow Volleyball at all levels

While paying a visit to Cyprus, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić had a high profile meeting with Mr Phivos Zachariades, Adviser to the President of the Republic of Cyprus on Sports (see picture).

President Boričić emphasised the importance CEV is placing in the development of youth sports in Europe and the need for everyone to work together to develop a strategy for that. The CEV President shared his vision to help grow the sport of Volleyball in Cyprus beginning from the grassroots level with the help of the CEV School Project, which includes assistance in terms of provision of balls and equipment, the organisation of coaching seminars and other projects in close collaboration with CEV.

The CEV President portrayed together with the Minister of Education and Sports of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Kostas Champiaouris.

The response from everyone the CEV President has spoken to – including the President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, Dinos Michaelides, and Minister of Education and Sports, Kostas Champiaouris, has been very positive. They all ensured President Boričić that there is already a very good relationship and collaboration between their respective organisations and Cyprus Volleyball and this is certainly going to continue and expand in the future. Volleyball is the second largest sport in Cyprus (behind football) and it is in everyone’s priorities and goals.

President Boričić will remain in Cyprus for a few more days and will have yet another important meeting with the President of the Cyprus Sports Organisation, Mr Andreas Michaelides.

CEV President visits SCA tournament, meets with Luxembourg Volleyball family

On Friday, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić paid a visit to d’Coque, the iconic National Sports and Culture Centre in Luxembourg City, and more specifically to the women’s Small Countries Association (SCA) Championship that started earlier today and will run there until Sunday.

The CEV President enjoyed some time with the leadership of the Luxembourg Volleyball Federation (FLVB), now chaired by Ms Norma Kemp-Zambon, discussing opportunities for further cooperation with the Grand Duchy’s Volleyball family. The FLVB are currently playing host to the first official SCA competition this year, with participation of the national teams of Faroe Islands, Greenland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It was the first such meeting with FLVB President Kemp-Zambon, as the CEV and FLVB wish to continue their partnership, which has been especially close since the CEV moved to the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg back in the late 80s. The CEV President wished everyone involved in the SCA championship the best of luck as well as a smooth delivery of the event, which adds to the list of international tournaments and competitions successfully hosted by the FLVB in recent years.

Picture:
the CEV President portrayed together with FLVB President Norma Kemp-Zambon (far right), international referee and President of the FLVB Refereeing Commission Carole Hepp (far left) and the President of the FLVB Finance Commission, Ms Françoise Rossi-Wetzel.

Red Lionesses of Luxembourg claim historic SCA title on home soil

Luxembourg are the winners of the 2019 Small Countries Association (SCA) women’s championship. The ‘Red Lionesses’ fought their way back from a set down to secure a 3-1 victory in the gold medal match with Scotland played on Sunday afternoon at the iconic d’Coque in Luxembourg City. This success bodes well for the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) that Luxembourg will be contesting later this month in Montenegro.

Luxembourg lost the first set 23-25 but regrouped to claim three in a row (26-24, 27-25, 25-21) at the end of a very close fight to end the Scottish winning streak in the tournament. The Scots were yet to lose a single set going into the gold medal match.

After three competition days, Faroe Islands completed the podium, courtesy of their 3-0 victory (25-11, 25-13, 25-11) in the bronze medal match with Northern Ireland. Ireland settled for the fifth place after securing their first victory in the competition in the classification match with Greenland (3-0; 25-15, 25-23, 25-18).

Despite the absence of some SCA powerhouses such as Cyprus and Iceland, it is a truly historic success for Team Luxembourg. Never before had the ‘Red Lionesses’ claimed gold from the SCA (formerly SCD) event. Luxembourg had previously finished runners-up four times (2005, 2007, 2013 and 2017).

Photo courtesy of volleyball.lu.

Volleyball Ireland announce main sponsor for women’s national team

Volleyball Ireland are delighted to announce W.E.D Consulting Ltd as their main women’s team sponsor for 2019.

The Dublin-based consultancy firm specialises in cost management, quantity surveying, project management and specialist project-control services on development and construction projects in Ireland and abroad. The partnership will see W.E.D Consulting becoming Team Ireland’s main sponsor for the Small Countries Association Championship, which begin in Luxembourg today, May 10.

Kevin Murphy, Managing Director of W.E.D Consulting said, “We are thrilled to be involved with the Irish national team in one of the most exciting and innovative team sports there is. We see great potential for the sport and we look forward to supporting the development of Irish Volleyball at an international level. As a company, we work in a fast-paced environment where innovation, vision and growth is key – it’s great to work with an organisation that shares those values.”

Ireland kick off their campaign against the Faroe Islands at 1 pm CET before taking on auld rivals Scotland at 6 pm. The competition also sees Greenland, Northern Ireland and hot favourites Luxembourg competing. Live streaming of the matches is available through the official Facebook page of the Luxembourg Volleyball Federation.

General Manager of Volleyball Ireland Gary Stewart added, “I am delighted to have WED in place as our senior team sponsor. We are putting in place development structures that will create a pathway from participation to performance but to do that needs support and having an Irish company providing that help is a key part of the jigsaw.”

Galway Volleyball Club’s Olivia Molloy is captaining the team and commented, “I would like to personally thank Kevin and WED for their support. The girls will represent Ireland and WED with great pride over the coming days. We have prepared well all year and cannot wait to get going.”

It is a big few weeks for Volleyball Ireland with the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup coming to Bettystown over the June Bank Holiday. Eight teams from across Europe will be competing with a main headline sponsor due to be announced next week.

Picture:
Seven of the Women’s Volleyball Team with Kevin Murphy of WED Consulting depart Dublin Airport to Luxembourg.

Northern Europe visits Luxembourg for SCA women’s championship

Luxembourg will be playing host later this week to the 2019 edition of the Small Countries Association (SCA) women’s championship. It is already the seventh time since 2003 that the Luxembourg Volleyball Federation (FLVB) hosts such an event. This time, the Grand Duchy warmly welcomes the teams of Faroe Islands, Greenland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and last but not least the Red Lion Ladies of Luxembourg, for the competition due to run at the iconic d’Coque from May 10 to 12, 2019.

“We are proud to support our young women’s team, starting their big Volleyball adventure with this competition before leaving in less than three weeks for the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE) in Montenegro,” reads a statement of the FLVB. “They deserve our full attention. Join us to live some exciting moments with our team and our visitors from abroad.”

Matches will be streamed live on RTL and here.

Click here for further information.

CEV School Project in the spotlight at EU Sport Forum

CEV Senior Vice-President Renato Arena attended last week the annual EU Sport Forum, this time held in Bucharest, Romania. Mr Arena was one of five speakers of the panel addressing the attendees on a truly important subject, i.e. ‘How can schools better contribute to the promotion of healthy lifestyles?’  

The CEV Senior Vice-President emphasised the role and importance of the Erasmus + funded CEV School Project, which aims at enhancing physical activity among children in Europe by introducing a new concept of the Volleyball game at school, with a focus on growing the game at the grassroots level.

The project has already been an extremely successful one with activities carried out in countries as diverse as Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Faroe Islands, F.Y.R. of Macedonia, Ireland, Kosovo, Montenegro, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Slovenia – with more due to follow.  

Mr Arena was one of five speakers along with Nicole Pisani from Chefs in Schools, Wojciech Kalamarz, Head of Health determinants and International Relations Unit, DG SANTE, European Commission, Otylia Jedrzejczak, Polish Olympic champion, and Kaisa Blomberg, teacher at Jyränkö school from Heinola, Finland.

The EU Sport Forum was a truly unique opportunity to provide further exposure to the leading and pioneering role played by the CEV with regard to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle among school pupils and their involvement in physical activity, while spreading the core values that Volleyball stands out for such as teamwork, mutual respect and fair play.

Northern Ireland, Ireland and Scotland share honours at 2019 Celtic Nations

Honours were shared at Queen’s University Belfast in the 2019 run of the Celtic Nations, the annual Volleyball celebration of Ireland’s Patron Saint Patrick on his feast day, March 17. This was the 43rd edition of the event.

In the Junior (Under 19s) hosts Northern Ireland won both the men’s and women’s matches against the Republic of Ireland, with the men triumphing 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-18) and the women sealing a 3-1 (23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-22) win in their fixture.

At Senior level, the Scottish National teams flew to Belfast thru very stormy weather but the Scotsmen succeeded in blowing away their Irish opposition beating Northern Ireland 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 25-23) and Ireland by the same score 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-16). Northern Ireland took second place beating their southern visitors by 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-18).

In the Senior Women’s triangular, all the matches were closely fought sets with Scotland beating the hosts Northern Ireland 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-18) but losing to Ireland after coming from two sets down by 3-2 (25-21, 25-20, 17-25, 20-25, 15-12). The southern Irish visitors took the titles with a hard-fought win over hosts Northern Ireland 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-19).

“Next year is the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Northern Ireland Volleyball Association (NIVA) and the Saint Patrick’s weekend has been a good preparation for that,” said Celtic Nations 2019 Director Joanna McGrory, NIVA Vice President.

NIVA President Irena Mannik was delighted with the quality of the eight matches. “We had the best crowd of hundreds at volleyball in Queen’s for some several years who arrived early and stayed to the finish. I am very grateful to the families and volunteers, to the players, coaches and officials who made it such a success for Northern Ireland’s Volleyball and Saint Patrick!”