Interim Club and Participation Development Manager

Hi to all SVA members, officials and players and a Happy 2011!

This article is intended to introduce myself to you, with the hope that you will all get to know me better over the coming months. 

Heather DarlingMy name is Heather Darling and I will be covering the post of Club and Participation Development Manager with immediate effect, although only on a part time basis and wish Sandra Grubb my best wishes as she goes off on maternity leave.  I will be based at the SVA office and will be working two days per week. Mainly this will be Tuesdays and Wednesdays although there will be some flexibility to meet and support you out there in the ‘Volleyball World’.

During my time in this post, I am keen to support both existing and new clubs, and contribute to the growth of Volleyball in Scotland.  The “Meet me at the net” project will be one of the programmes that takes me out of the office and I will also be covering other key areas like Junior National League, Youth and Schools, Child Protection, UKSGs, SVA grant support and some other aspects of club development and SVA project delivery. 

My involvement with Scottish Volleyball started a number of years ago when my eldest son was making good progress with the City of Edinburgh Volleyball Academy. I was impressed by the opportunities available to Liam through the player development pathway which was supported by the SVA.  In 2005 I began working as a volunteer with the local PE teacher, coaching the 9/10 year olds in the Volleyball Academy, and her enthusiasm inspired me to look into qualifications in this field.

From there I successfully undertook an HND in Sports Coaching with Development of Sport, which then opened the door to the third year of a BSc Degree in Sport and Exercise Science which I was proud to achieve with distinction. Throughout those studies, my coaching has progressed, thanks to the coach education support from the club and SVA, and I now coach a JNL U16 boys’ team as well as the U13/U11 mixed group, many of whom I started working with in primary 1 in a Baby Volleyball pilot.  It has been quite the journey!

Heather Darling with the All BlacksThe other professional role I have is as a part time Active School Co-coordinator within the Edinburgh area.  I truly believe that the two posts compliment each other merging both my generic sport participation role with Volleyball specific one.

Margaret Ann Fleming, CEO of the SVA said “Heathers experience, enthusiasm and knowledge of clubs, schools and development will be a great support in the delivery of the SVA Operational and Strategic plan, 2009-12 Bigger, Better, Stronger.  I am very much looking forward to working with Heather over the next few months and I would like to welcome her to the SVA staff.”

I am all set, ready to get working, and very much enjoying getting to know Scottish Volleyball from the inside out!  Hope to meet up with many of you soon, and if you would like to contact me please email.

Kind regards,