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Volleyball Wales - working hard for the sport

The success of beach volleyball at the Olympic Games in London has helped to boost the profile of the sport in Wales

Cardiff, Wales, July 15, 2013 – The problem of developing a sport without a large player base or a steady source of income is one that has faced Volleyball Wales since its inception.

In order to reverse the trend the organisation has been focusing on introducing the sport to as many children and young people as possible in the country. They have been able to do this via a project that was recently funded by the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) aimed at developing school-level volleyball in order to increase participation in the sport.

“So using things like the Urban Games, Street Games and the Community Games that have been running through schools in the area recently, we’ve managed to reach about 1,000 youngsters in the last four weeks,” said Yvonne Saker, chair of Volleyball Wales, who was also heavily involved in the organisation of the sport during the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Volleyball Wales, one of the newest governing bodies in Welsh sport, was founded in 2009 in order to ensure that the country was represented in the UK School Games in 2009.

So far, the attention of the organisation has been mainly centred on volleyball rather than beach volleyball.

However, this emphasis is set to change due to funding from UK Sport and the enthusiasm for beach volleyball created by the 2012 Olympics in London. Volleyball Wales has donated some of the legacy equipment it received from LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) to the
360 Beach and Watersports Centre in Swansea, where temporary beach volleyball courts are already available to the public to hire or pay for coaching sessions.

Despite the limited number of clubs – there are only seven that are currently active – volleyball is played all over Wales in some form or another, particularly in universities.

Saker hopes that the launch of a new semi-permanent court in September will raise awareness of both the facility itself and volleyball in general in Wales.

“There is a level for every person, depending on what they’re going in for,” she said “Generally it’s a very physical game, it’s a very social game and there’s a lot of discipline, but there’s also a lot of fun at every level.

“You tend to use a lot of skills that aren’t common in other sports. For example, you don’t tend to use your forearms in other sports whereas you do a lot in volleyball. Again, in terms of reading the ball, you’re obviously not allowed to let it bounce.

“So it does take a little bit of getting used to. But it’s great. Because it’s a team sport, it’s a really, really fun environment for everyone to play.”

For more information about the opportunities that are available to play volleyball in Wales, please contact Yvonne Saker by email:

Volleyball Wales website 


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