After a highly successful indoor series of SVA East Regional Development Days in February, March and April, the SVA East Regional Development Day on Saturday 7th May 2016 turned to the beach.The purpose of the SVA Regional Development Days are to provide players aged 13-16 with the opportunity to make progress towards the School Games trials, and also by influencing the number of players and level of players who compete in the SVA U16 SVL and U18 SVL. Its also an opportunity for a “community of practice” for coaches and exchange of ideas of the recent trends of the game. The coaching staff included Scotland East Boys U17 head coach Ian Brownlee, and Scotland East Girls U16 assistant coach Juliana Facanha. The beach day also included a court for sand spikers from primary 4 – primary 7 led by Zoe Smith.
As the UK basked in a heat wave, it was force 6 offshore winds and 10 degrees that greeted the 24 athletes and 4 coaches as they arrived at Portobello. Nevertheless it will take more than a wee bit of a breeze to put off the young athletes who were looking forward to the opportunity to play volleyball outside and enjoy the fantastic seascape.
With 3 courts in place, SVA Coaching Manager and experienced beach volleyball coach Ioannis Panayiotakis set the ambitious programme for the morning! On the 13-16 courts, the focus was on spiking, defence, and dig setting, with a 15 minute break for the essential hot chocolate from the “little green van” before finishing with a tournament.
Well done to everyone who took part. Lots of progress was made on Saturday and especially so with those athletes who have now participated in 4 out of 4 of the 2016 series of SVA East Regional Development Days. There is no certificate for 4 out of 4 sessions –but the satisfaction of having made so much progress.