Scotland has over 5000 schools catering for young people from age 4 to 18 across 32 local authorities. Scottish Volleyball has two regional development officers who have a wide remit which includes developing volleyball in school, despite their best efforts reaching even 10% of schools is a herculean task.
The CEV schools project has been a great tool to help promote volleyball in the school network. Scottish Volleyball has used the CEV Schools project to launch a volleyball ambassador course aimed at upskilling senior school pupils aged 16-18 in the fundamentals of volleyball delivery. These ambassadors are then tasked with volleyball delivery to their local cluster primary schools. Meaning that for every ambassador the Scottish Volleyball development officer trains around 10/15 young people are getting exposed to volleyball.
The next stage of the development pathway is for these primary schools to come to the local secondary school to enjoy a 2v2 volleyball festival which also helps with the transition of the pupils into secondary school as they get to meet pupils from other schools and visit their new secondary school environment.
One such school which has been getting a lot of success using this method to grow volleyball and enhance the transition from primary to secondary education is Woodfarm High School, situated on the outskirts of Glasgow. Their Physical Education Head Teacher Stuart McCraken attended the CEV Coaching convention in Skopje North Macedonia in 2022, and said “the trip to North Macedonia really whet my appetite to grow volleyball in my school. The Volleyball ambassador programme and the assistance with equipment from the CEV schools programme have helped develop a thriving school volleyball club. A number of these pupils have now progressed from my school club to playing volleyball in the Scottish Volleyball League set up. The school senior team were second in the Scottish Schools cup last year and more importantly we have hundreds of young people enjoying volleyball every week in the school”.
Regional Development Officer Blair Pettigrew who helped design and deliver the ambassador programme across the west of Scotland spoke of the importance of it to maximise the sports reach. “Our CEV partnership continues to flourish and is clearly seen by the excellent work that Stuart is doing at Woodfarm High School. It is a clear development from a young age and is a pathway from school volleyball into national league set up and hopefully on to our national team programme and Tartan Talent pathway. One of the additional benefits of delivering the ambassador programme to the senior school pupils is it helps to grow their leadership skills and the young people they deliver to respond well to peer-to-peer learning. I have delivered the course to over 200 young people since September, it’s nice to know when I leave them, they are heading out to the community to spread the word of volleyball and help others fall in love with the sport”.