Easter School 2009

Easter SchoolThe 2009 Easter School was held at Inverclyde National Sports Centre from April 8th – 11th.  It was full of people and effort, learning and smiles, questions, answers and volleyball.  It was great!

There were three different groups with three different schedules.  There were two groups of candidate coaches being nursed and driven through either their level 2 or level 3 awards, and then there was a development camp for the Junior Women’s programme.  There were volleyball people all over the place mingling with the tiny gymnasts, the golfers and the hockey players, the Inverclyde Centre was really busy.

Steve Scott was the ES Manager, charged with the responsibility of making sure everything was co-ordinated; that all of the facilities were set up when required, that the papers and computers and data projectors, and flip charts and volleyballs were all ready where and when they were meant to be.  He did, they were, and Steve managed all of it with a cheerful smile for the pleasure of being involved.

Easter SchoolThe course candidates came from all over.  From Shetland in the far North, to just down the road at Troon, and many parts in between.  There was also a spread of nationalities, with the USA, Poland, Cyprus, Spain and Italy all being represented.  It was a rich mix, and it worked really really well, as the candidates shared experiences, stories and questions. The sessions were intense, the discussions seemingly endless but always interesting, and the time in the gym passed all too quickly.

Easter SchoolThe volleyball staff who were presenting the courses were great. Kevin and Cammy lead the level 2 award superbly.  Simon and Malcolm coped with the difficult task of keeping the Junior Girls on track despite the interruptions, and John French was the absolute professional.  Gail Campbell joined the group to add her support, Mike McConville showed up to take pictures, and Margaret Ann (CEO) spent a day at Inverclyde meeting with colleagues and experiencing the unique environment which is the SVA Easter School. In total there were nearly fifty people involved with the Easter School, which is simply an outstanding success.

Easter SchoolThe Junior Girls programme was perhaps the most intense part of the whole thing.  They had regular practice sessions which were presented by their coaches; they had specialist sessions for the setters, and then they also got to be the ‘guinea pigs’ for the level three coaches to practice their coaching skills on.  At times there were as many as 13 coaches working with 17 athletes – as I said intense!  The girls were fantastic.  They worked their socks off regardless of who was coaching them, or what they were asked to do.  Their intent was to improve, and they were happy to do that no matter who was leading the session.  And they did all of this with a smile…….great!

Developing and improving our coaches is one of the main strands of the new SVA Strategic Plan.  One of the best ways to develop coaches is to have them attend formal coach education courses, like the Easter School.  So by staging this massive event we are contributing to the success of the Clubs, and the programmes the candidate coaches come from.  We are also contributing to the success of the SVA….as I said before…Great!

So a big thank you to the staff at Inverclyde who were, as usual, friendly, helpful and very obliging.  A huge thanks to the Coaching Staff who worked so hard to make this such an enjoyable and rewarding experience for the participants.  A great big ‘well done’ to the Junior Girls’ group for their patience and their never ending enthusiasm.  Finally a sincere thank you to the course candidates for the efforts their commitment and their support of Scottish Volleyball.

I am already looking forward to the next one.

Thomas Dowens
SVA Director of Coaching
April 12th 2009     

Easter School