Scotland Claim the Spoils in Inaugural Celtic Christmas Challenge

Last weekend saw the introduction of the Celtic Christmas Challenge, an annual competition where the Scottish National Team duel against Volleyball Ireland for the overall title of Celtic Christmas Champions. 

Held at the newly refurbished Stevenson Building at Glasgow University, the first edition of the competition saw our U20 Men’s and Women’s Teams, and our Senior Men’s and Women’s Teams battle against a strong Irish contingent. With each team playing their respective counterparts on both days, we were set for an exciting eight matches throughout the weekend. 

Scotland v Ireland Christmas Internationals, Stevenson Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, Sun 17 Dec 2023. © Michael McConville
Scotland v Ireland Christmas Internationals 2023
Stevenson Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland – 17 December 2023. (Photo by Lynne Marshall |

Thanks to our partnership with Glasgow Subway, Volleyball Ireland was able to travel to matches for free using the subway links, providing the teams with a reliable and environmentally-conscious transport option for the weekend.

Our Saturday morning began with the U20’s men. Your Scotland team made sure to reward fans who had made the early start time as they ran out to an exciting 3-1 win (25-20, 25-9, 29-31, 25-13). Next up was the U20 women who came up against a strong Irish opponent and ultimately fell in a competitive five-set thriller (24-26, 25-22, 21-25, 26-24, 11-15).

The afternoon session opened with a dominant performance from our Senior Men, who took the game in three sets (25-16, 25-19, 25-16) before the Senior Women rounded off day one with another strong outing. A victory in four sets (25-10, 23-25, 25-20, 25-9) meant we finished the day with three wins out of a possible four.

The Sunday game slate followed a similar trend. The day began with the U20 Women taking the court. Scotland fought well but found themselves on the wrong side of a 3-1 as Ireland set the early tone for the matchday (24-26, 16-25, 25-12, 22-25). However, the momentum quickly changed as our U20 Men gritted their way through a hard-fought 3-0 win (26-24, 25-23, 25-23).

Scotland v Ireland Christmas Internationals 2023
Stevenson Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland – 17 December 2023. (Photo by Lynne Marshall |

Our penultimate game of the weekend saw the Senior Women back in action. Scotland controlled the game from the start and reaped the rewards for their work as they claimed the win in straight sets (25-23, 25-13, 25-18). For our final matchup of the 2023 Celtic Christmas Challenge, the Senior Men were back in action. A great team performance from the boys topped off a fantastic weekend in Glasgow as Scotland took the game in three sets (25-13, 25-22, 25-20).

Some fantastic team performances and incredible levels of consistency over both days ensured Scotland went home with the cup!

We would like to thank Volleyball Ireland for making the trip over in numbers and for showing up in such good voice throughout a great weekend of competitive volleyball!

A huge thank you also goes out to the staff at the Stevenson Building and to all of our volunteers for their support throughout the weekend. Thank you also to Glasgow University for hosting us and the Referees Commission who facilitated the running of a Grade 1 Referee Course alongside the competition, with three candidates looking for a promotion to the next level.

Finally, thank you to everyone who purchased tickets and joined us in the Stevenson Building for the launch of the first Celtic Christmas Challenge! The sell-out event made for an incredible atmosphere. For those who couldn’t join us live, all the matches were livestreamed and you can re-watch the action from our Youtube page

Volleyballphotos were on the scene capturing all the action over the weekend. You can find photos taken at

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