Kilgraston Summer Camp experience will stay long after the summer ends

The SVA Summer Camp  took place at Kilgraston School, Perthshire, from Friday 15th – Monday 18th July 2016.  20 young male and female athletes made their way to Kilgraston, arriving early on the Friday morning. The 8 boys and 12 girls from various parts of Scotland, ranging from South Ayrshire to Aberdeenshire, arrived with a desire to learn.

The camp lead by experienced head coaches Vince Krawczyk and Bill Stobie  provided the opportunity for young and promising coaches Gosha Wojcik, Anastasia Schkreba and Zalina Dzatieva to work with and learn as part of their female apprenticeship. Vince and Bill’s priceless experience with the National Teams and their natural communication charisma enabled them to act as suitable mentors. In discussion with the female coaches they examined some of the key coaching skills required to ensure performance development takes place.

On Friday the players were welcomed by former Olympian and SVA Regional Development Officer Lynne Beatie, who delivered a solid strength and conditioning session setting the tone for what was to be 4 full days of fun and demanding volleyball with 6-8 hours on the court each day covering all aspects of the game.

The commitment from each and every one of the participants was exceptional. They worked hard, they worked smart and most importantly they worked together. The feedback from the juniors was very positive and it was pleasant to see they identified the improvement in movement and gameplay. One interesting comment from one of the players was “my biggest worry was that I was going to be by myself, but instead everyone made me feel welcome”.

On the few recovery hours the athletes enjoyed each others company and made new friends. On the second day we all watched part of a recent FIVB world league game with Brazil-France. One could clearly see the enthusiasm in their eyes while watching the best players in the world play. Sunday saw some successful  specialised training on the serve/receive. And before we knew it, it was Monday and it was time to say goodbye.

Head Coach Vince reflections were precice on the spot:

“It was very satisfying that the participants came from the South West to the North East of Scotland and they were a credit to their coaches with regards to the skills that they brought and the effort that they put in at the camp.

I and my fellow coaches worked them hard in all aspects of the game but there was much work done on movement and court coverage and their abilities in those latter areas appeared to grow considerably over the weekend.

The younger coaches in attendance contributed greatly at sessions and their intelligent conversation at meetings indicated that they will be invaluable assets to volleyball players in the future”

The assistant coaches equally expressed their high opinion for the camp and their experience shadowing senior coaches, “this end result” Anastasia wrote “was the sum of the player’s hard work and the coaches input-i think the camp was a success and I’m glad I was there to witness the progress”.

I would like to personally thank all coaches attending this camp. Special gratitude is due to Vince Krawczyk for his unconditional support to Scottish Volleyball. For the  energy that he brings on the court, coaching others and for helping new coaches evolve. Many thanks to Bill Stobie too, he is both a wonderful teacher and an excellent coach.

For the junior players, thank you for being a joy to work with. I   believe this camp will be a gateway to life in the spirit of volleyball . I hope the knowledge gained and the new friends will be retained. Volleyball is the antidote to modern life and  individualism and our camp helps one understand this quote.


Ioannis Panayiotakis
Coaching Manager