Author : Darryl Collins
Article ID : 27
Audience : Everyone
Published Date: 2010/3/31 12:30:00
Reads : 5213
New to London and want to get playing, or interested volleyball and want to get involved?
You will need to find some other players, but first decide whether you want play recreational or social volleyball, or join a club with a coach organizing formal training sessions. There are many groups to choose from with some entering women's or men's teams in leagues. London runs its own league where matches are played on midweek evenings or weekends and a few London clubs enter the National League which takes them further afield and the matches are all on Saturdays or Sundays.
You will need a group of players to work with. Clubs often need someone to lead their training sessions and guide them at matches. Other opportunities come from schools, London Boroughs, and companies wanting to develop volleyball within their organisation. With any of these you could be working with players ranging from juniors to seniors and from beginners to advanced players.
People become coaches by attending specialized training courses and gaining qualifications. It is easy to get started as there is a graded scheme of courses to train coaches. Once you have gained the basic level award you can register with Volleyball England and enjoy several benefits including insurance cover.
Getting involved as a referee, scorer or linesperson is a bit different to playing or coaching. There are courses that get people started as a referee and from then on they are moved through the grades via an assessment process. All active referees should be registered with Volleyball England.
Scorers play an important role at matches and because the standard score sheet is so complex they have their own training course. The linesperson role is often only filled in major competitions but as we approached 2012 there is a need to train a lot of people to do this task at the Olympics. Expect to see a demand for linepersons, along with training opportunities in the next few years.
All officials need matches to officiate and suitable matches can be difficult to find, particularly when starting out as a referee or scorer, or having recently arrived in London. However you should find help via these links.
It is unusual for people to start out in a sport by becoming a volunteer, however almost all volleyball in London is run by volunteers. Without people taking on roles like 'coach', 'treasurer', 'fixtures secretary', 'summer tournament organiser', 'kit man' there wouldn't be any volleyball. If you would like to get involved most clubs would give you a warm welcome.
Looking beyond clubs there are opportunities to get involved in the London-wide scene of leagues, tournaments, coach and referee development, junior player development, bidding for funds and grants and the like. All these are done by volunteers, and there is even a volunteer co-ordinator role to make sure volunteers are enjoying their involvement!
You can start easily just by bringing along a willing personality. When you want to improve there are training courses specifically designed to help volunteers in sport.
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