East Midlands Volleyball AGM and Awards Night 2017

Volleyball Review – End of Year

Over the summer the EMVA held the Annual General Meeting and awards evening.  As always, the volunteers that make up the committee come together with members of the various clubs across the East Midlands.

Especially important is to celebrate the volleyball achievements from the past 12 months and discuss how to improve and increase volleyball participation across the region.

Junior Volleyball

On top of what local clubs do for their junior players the EMVA has been supporting this with the regional development training squads.

Secondly, the Grand Prix competitions have been instrumental in helping our juniors to be match ready for the Inter-regionals.  The inter-regionals are held annually at the end of indoor season in May.
Volleyball Grand Prix Juniors - girls

Volleyball grand prix Juniors - boys

U15 Inter County GP winners – Northamptonshire
U17 Boys Grand Prix winners – Hermitage
U17 Girls Grand Prix winners – Ashfield Vipers

Congratulations to all our junior Grand Prix winners.

Beach competition – U18s East Midlands

U18s beach volleyball 2017Obviously, the inaugural Junior 2 vs 2 competition is especially relevant.  Therefore this constitutes another milestone in the junior development program.

Well done to overall winners Emily and Mya.

Finally, a massive thank you to all the coaches and parents that make sure this all happens.

As shown above, with the various opportunities that have been created over the last couple of years there is ever increasing Junior volleyball activity visible across the region.


East Midlands Regional Volleyball League

Most noteworthy, is that a record number of 13 men’s teams entered into the 2016-17 leagues and now there are 7 women’s teams too.  Rules on allowing a limited number of NVL players into Div 1 of both men and women keeps it competitive.  Whereas, allowing men’s 2 division to have mixed sex teams has kept the development league thriving.

Womens Volleyball League | East Midlands

East Mids womens league table 2016-17


Women’s Div – Winners – Ashfield Vipers

Runners up – Darkstar


Mens Volleyball League | East Midlands

East Mids Mens 1 league table 2016-17
Men’s Div 1 – Winners – Darkstar II

Runners up – Polonia Leicester


East Mids Mens 2 league table 2016-17
Men’s Div 2 – Winners – Hermitage

Runners up – Loughborough Students



Congratulations to all our league winners and runners up last night at the East Midlands Awards Evening.

Lincoln Imps Feature In First Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix Of 2015-16 Season

The first Sitting Grand Prix of the season took place at the Ashcombe Volleyball Centre in Dorking on Sunday 20th September, which featured many familiar faces from last season as well as some eager new recruits.

Tier 1 of the competition included the top four teams from last season’s Grand Prix series.  Defending champions, East London Lynx were looking for a strong display to demonstrate they were still the team to beat.

There were a number of close matches in Tier 1 with Newcastle Staffs playing to three sets in each of their three matches. Their first match saw a close encounter with H4H Phoenix A. The match went into a third set which went in the favour of H4H Phoenix A 15-8. Their second and third matches respectively followed suit in that they just couldn’t see the final set out. It was still a very successful day for Newcastle Staffs as they finished the day in second place in Tier 1. East London Lynx on the other hand had no problems with claiming victory as they stormed Tier 1 with three victories from three. Their first victory came after a powerful performance against Lincoln 2-0 (25-9, 25-15). East London Lynx had to work for their wins in their final two matches as both H4H Phoenix A and Newcastle Staffs took the matches to a third set. However East London Lynx showed why they are reigning Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix Series champions as they were able to claim maximum points from their final matches and claim top spot in Tier 1.

Tier 1 MVP – Tyler McClarron, Lincoln Imps and C. Francis Nduka, Help4Heroes Phoenix A.

Sitting Volleyball Cup is open to all comers

The Sitting Volleyball Cup is open to all entries and open to all Volleyball England Clubs, this is your chance to test yourself against the best sitting volleyball players in the country.

The Competition will take place on Sunday 22nd March 2015 at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering.

Teams will compete in a competition to decide all places on the day, and we will crown the inaugural Sitting Volleyball Cup Champions.

Even if you have never played Sitting Volleyball before, it is a chance for your Team to give it a go.

For more information visit- Volleyball England


Sitting volleyball grand prix

The second Grand Prix of the season welcomed two new teams to the competition, Manchester Marvels and DRM with the latter captained by London 2012 Paralympian Claire Harvey. DRM got off to a quick start against Essex Pirates who were making their return to the GP after a year’s absence. A 9-1 lead was reeled back however, as Essex took the first set 25-23 and went on to comfortably win the second. Portsmouth won a tough 3 setter against Battle Back B, 15-8 in the third and were swiftly back on court where they beat DRM 2-0. Manchester Marvels gave a good account of themselves in their first match, losing 25-17, 25-19 to Tier 2 frontrunners Essex Pirates. Their second match against fellow newcomers DRM was a little closer. After losing the first set, they took the match into a decider where both teams had the opportunity for glory. In the end it was DRM who notched up their first win, 19-17.

For more info visit Volleyball England website – Sitting volleyball grand prix

Sitting volleyball grand prix update – 2013

After a tough season in the Volleyball England Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix, the 2 teams from the East Midlands, Loughborough Lions and Lincoln Imps, have both qualified for the end of season playoffs.

The competition, which features many of the players who represented Paralympics GB at London 2012, is contested across 5 events, with 10 teams playing 4 matches at each event and accumulating points across the season.

Both sides went into the final event in February with a chance to finish inside the top 4 and after both teams beat a strong Battleback side, qualified for the final and faced each other to determine their final placing. Lions came out on top, finishing 3rd on the day and 3rd overall which means they will face runners up Ashcombe Surrey Gators in the semi-final whilst Lincoln will face East London Lynx who topped the table after the regular season.

Both teams are delighted to have reached the playoffs. Keith Hill, the coach of Lincoln Imps said “I’m very proud of what Lincoln SV have achieved this season. To be one of the top 4 teams inEnglandis fantastic. It shows the commitment of the whole group. I feel particularly proud when officials and other team members comment that they have seen a continued improvement in our ability. We are looking forward to the forthcoming semifinal it will be a tough game but who knows anything is possible.

The 2 semi-finals will take place at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering on Saturday, March 23rd where both teams will be looking to qualify for the final which takes place as part of the Volleyball England Super 8 Finals on 28th April inKettering. Spectators are very welcome so why not head down to support the teams.

If you are interested in playing Sitting Volleyball, both teams are always looking for new players so you would be more than welcome to join them for training. Details of the sessions can be found at East midlands sitting volleyball teams 

For more information about the Sitting volleyball grand prix results visit the Volleyball England website


Lincoln Imps have become the first English Sitting Volleyball Club to gain Volley 1 accreditation

Lincoln Imps

Congratulations to the Lincolnshire Sitting Volleyball Association, also known as Lincoln Imps, who have become the first English stand alone Sitting Volleyball Club to gain Volley 1 accreditation. The club, founded four years ago, has developed rapidly driving sitting volleyball at school level but also offering high level competition to its senior members, who include players who have represented Great Britain. The club is truly inclusive, promoting sitting volleyball as a great sport for able-bodied and players with a disability to enjoy together.

Achieving Volley 1 (Clubmark) accreditation is an excellent achievement for the club who have been working very hard to expand their profile in the community, cement best practice in terms of club management and make sure they have a safe and accessible offer for young people. Lincolnshire Sitting Volleyball also attended Volleyball England’s recent Volley 123 Club Day where they were able to complete the required scUK courses to complete their application. Volley 1 accreditation gives the club Sport England’s prestigious Clubmark award – the only national cross-sports quality accreditation scheme for junior sports clubs and a demonstration that Lincolnshire meets all of Sport England’s minimum operating standards. Well done to all the club committee and volunteers for their hard work!
Club Treasurer and Welfare Officer Ben Richards commented on how valuable the process had been for the club;

“We are over the moon to receive our Volley 1 accreditation and to be the fist stand-alone sitting volleyball club to do so, this is a huge achievement for the club and we believe essential to our growth.

The accreditation will help the club tremendously – we are doing some work in schools already and this will help to establish more partnerships with even more schools. It shows that we are serious about sitting volleyball and work to best practices to maintain the club and look after its members.

We feel that the best way to sustain the club is to recruit juniors and our plan is to create a mixed junior session consisting of able and disabled children, both boys and girls. The main weakness for sitting volleyball is that it’s not that well known at the moment but this is also its strength. Junior players will be able to progress quickly with real opportunities of playing for Great Britain, and we want to be able to give them that chance.”
The club joins Surrey Gators (Ashcombe VC), Portsmouth and Essex Pirates, all of whom are also part of accredited clubs. Several other fellow Sitting squads and clubs are also working towards accreditation or re-accreditation.
“It’s really promising for the future of sitting volleyball in this country to see Lincolnshire and other sitting sides really taking an active approach to getting young people involved,” commented Kate Rothery, National Club & Membership Development Officer.
“Gaining Volley 1 accreditation shows that the club is offering quality and safe opportunities for these young players and their parents can be very confident leaving them in their care. It’s also a sign of quality club management and we look forward to seeing Lincolnshire Sitting Volleyball continuing to thrive!”
For more information about Volley 1 (Clubmark accreditation) and how your club can join the programme, please visit the Volley 123 pages of Volleyball England’s website.

Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix 3 sees a fresh face at the top

The third Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix was held at the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering on 11th December 2011. Lincoln Imps previously gained promotion into Tier 1 for the first time while the Volleyball England Youth Forum were participating in their first official competition. Eagles and Gators were the only team going into the Grand Prix unbeaten. Rob Richardson (Great Britain and Eagles and Gators Captain) enthused “We are unbeaten so far this season, and we hope to continue that today”.

Eagles and Gators started the Grand Prix with a comfortable 2-0 win against Simpsons, while London Lynx beat Battleback to 10 and 13. Lynx carried their positive momentum into their second game against Lincoln Imps, again winning 2-0. Eagles and Gators contested a tough first set against Battleback, but saw off the determined side in the first set with a 25-20 win. Battleback were unable to maintain their form, and lost the second set to 11.

Lincoln Imps beat Simpsons 2-1 after losing the first set to 16, a great turn around for those involved. Eagles and Gators had a comfortable victory against Lincoln Imps, winning the first set to 9 but being pushed a little closer in the second 25-19. In one of the most exciting matches of the day, East London Lynx became the first team to beat Eagles and Gators in the 2011 Grand prix Series. The match was closely fought throughout, with East London Lynx coming out on top 25-23 25-21.

They followed that victory with another against Simpsons and in doing so, registered their first unbeaten weekend of the series. The final game of the day was between Lincoln Imps and Battleback. In a pulsating match, Lincoln beat Battleback 2-0, winning both sets to 23. On another day, the scores could easily have been reversed. The win ensuring Lincoln Imps remained in Tier 1. East London Lynx finished in first place for the first time in this years Grand Prix series and edged closer to a place in the Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix Final at the National Volleyball Centre in April. In Tier 2, the Volleyball England Youth Forum made a great start to their first Grand Prix, winning hard a fought match against Kent Wyvern to and 20 and 22. Ilona Berry, Volleyball England Youth Forum lead member of staff commented: “I’m so proud of the Youth Forum. Being here today is a fantastic opportunity for them to learn more about sitting volleyball and take it back into their communities.”

In the second match, Portsmouth played Essex Pirates. A good game ended with the Pirates as victors who then went on to claim victory in a tough match against Lougborough Lions, which saw the teams battling through 3 sets with the decider being won 15-10. Portsmouth’s next match was against Kent Wyvern, ending with Portsmouth’s first victory and Kent Wyvern’s second consecutive defeat (25-6 and 25-12). Essex Pirates continued their winning streak as they also beat Kent Wyvern 2-0. The Volleyball England Youth Forum were up against Portsmouth in their next match. They managed to take the lead against a Portsmouth team who were confident after their first vitory, however they couldn’t quite see it through to a set victory as they lost the first set to 23 and the second to 14.

The VE Youth Forum lost their next match in against a Loughborough Lions team who were on a high after beating Kent Wyvern 2-0. They also lost their final game against Essex Pirates, however performed admirably throughout cosniderign this was their first official competition. Hannah Carey, part of the National Volleyball Academy and a part of the Volleyball England Youth Forum “I did not realise how difficult it was compared to standing. It was really good and I think we need to promote it more and encourage younger people to play in the Grand Prix.” The final encounter of the day was between Lougborough Lions and Portsmouth, with the Lions beating Portsmouth and, in doing so, finishing in their highest position in the Grand Prix series so far.

Essex Pirates were the form side in Tier 2, winning all their matches and claiming promotion into Tier 1 for the next Grand Prix. MVP’s were Alex Menya (Battleback) for Tier 1 and Guus Van Den Elzen (Loughborough Lions) for Tier 2.

Article by Bethany Capps, Emma Hanger and Sofia Ghelli

Andrea Green – Olympic Sitting Volleyball

Andrea Green

When a back injury forced Andrea Green to give up playing her beloved volleyball and take three months off work, the Littleover woman hit a low.

But a chance meeting with GB officials of sitting volleyball – the Paralympic equivalent to standing volleyball – have set Green on the road to next year’s Games in London. 

Although the inclusion of sitting volleyball on the Paralympic programme has yet to be rubber-stamped, with substantial funding and a Channel 4 documentary about the GB sitting volleyball squad to be aired in September, getting the thumbs-up for London 2012 seems merely a formality.

“The women’s programme was developed specifically for London 2012 but still has to prove credibility to be offered the host nation place in the Paralympic competition,” explained Green.

“We are making great progress, though, and are currently in training for the Continental Cup, which will take place in the Ukraine in September, and the European Championships in Holland the following month.”

Green first became interested in volleyball at Littleover Community School, where her teacher, Mrs Foxon, saw that she had a talent for the sport and encouraged her.

“I was 15 years old and it helped that Mrs Foxon was also interested in volleyball,” said Green.

“She encouraged me to join social side Derby Women, who played at the Shaftsbury Centre, and I eventually went on to represent England students, West Yorkshire and Bradford University while studying physiotherapy in Sheffield.”

Green continued to lead an active life but believes that a combination of travelling to Sheffield every day while training to be a physiotherapist and a reduced amount of exercise gradually resulted in her injury.

“I had originally worked as a fitness instructor for the likes of Derby City Council, Derby Students Union, Lady in Leisure and Breadsall Priory before going to uni, so I was quite active” she said.

“After University, I began going to the gym more often and increased my activity levels once more and believe that this didn’t help my back.

“I then got a job working as a physio at Derby Hospitals and it was only a few weeks into this that I began feeling some pain.

“I shrugged it off and continued to work through the pain.

“I was reluctant to go off sick as I had just started working and therefore continued to work in pain, discomfort and denial for a couple of months before my manager intervened and sent me home one day.

“I was off work for three months and it was revealed that I had disc herniation, resulting in nerve damage, that eventually led to a dropped foot.

“I could barely walk and had to teach myself how to do that all over again.

“I put weight on and lost a lot of my confidence. It was a really tough time.

“Eventually I felt well enough to return to work and got a new senior post in the community working part-time with adults with learning disabilities and set up my own business.

“I heard about a sitting volleyball awareness day in Loughborough and thought it would be fantastic to introduce to my client.

“Until that point, I’d never considered myself disabled.

“I became hooked and was invited to attend the GB programme training weekends.

“I’ve never looked back since.

“I was put through the six-month talent transition programme by the BPA at Bath University and found myself actually enjoying sitting volleyball more than standing volleyball; it’s a lot faster and your reactions need to be quicker.

“Because I’m only a minimally disabled athlete, it took a while to get used to shuffling around on my bottom when your natural instinct is to walk.”

Green’s life has been a rollercoaster since then.

Earlier this year, she was named the GB Women’s Sitting Volleyball Athlete of the year and has been appointed vice-captain of the side.

But still, she doesn’t consider herself extraordinary and prefers to talk about the amazing stories of some of her GB team-mates including Martine Wright, who lost both legs in the London 7/7 bombings in 2005.

“There really are some amazing people in the GB side and it’s an honour to work alongside them,” added Green, who can regularly be seen in the gym at Virgin Active or Derby College, Mackworth, when she’s not playing for the East Midlands Sitting Volleyball team in Loughborough.

“It is a brilliant sport and has brought pleasure to so many people.

“Although it would be fantastic to win a medal at next year’s Games, I think it’s more important to raise the profile of the sport because the majority is self-funded.

“Sitting Volleyball is played in several countries around the world with over 40 men’s teams and 20-plus women’s teams and it will be the result of a lot of hard work if we make it to the 2012 Olympics.”

Great Britain Womens Sitting Volleyball Development Programme Announced!



Volleyball England has announced that Great Britain Sitting Volleyball will include a Women’s Development Programme for the first time in the sports history and there were two players from the East Midlands included!

Louise Darby and Andrea Green have been training with Loughborough Lions since September and have both been selected to be part of the Great Britain development squad that are currently in training for the World Championships in July.  The Development Programme aims to recruit and develop players for top-level competition in time for major competitions such as London Paralympics 2012.  Both have figured strongly in the East Midlands Grand Prix team and have improved greatly in their short time of playing the sport. 

The announcement was made alongside confirmation of the programme’s 2010 schedule of events. Recruitment drives, training sessions and competitions will take place at devoted “Sitting Centres” that have recently been established in England, Scotland and Wales to help support the Great Britain Programmes.

The programme is currently being led by John Bestebroer, who previously coached the Dutch Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Squad to win the Bronze medal in Beijing 2008, Steve Jones (Volleyball England, Workforce Development Manager) and Gordon Neale OBE as Team Manager who has worked in Disability sport his whole life and is currently a senior manager for Disability Sports Events. (www.disabilitysport.org.uk)

The Player Development Pathway takes the form of a three-tiered pathway: the Sitting Volleyball Centres will drive activity such as hosting training days and recruitment drives; the second tier will enable players capable of progressing to train weekly with the GB Men’s coaching staff; the top tier will select squads for the major competitions.

Richard Callicott, British Volleyball President, said: “these are exciting times for Sitting Volleyball and the future looks very promising. The formation of a Great Britain Women’s Sitting Volleyball Development Programme comes at a time when Sitting Volleyball is continuing to grow ahead of 2012.

“The men’s programme has gone from strength to strength, so the momentum has been easy to pick up for the women’s programme.  London 2012 offers a great opportunity for Sitting Volleyball: we are confident that if we get the right athletes training in the right environment more frequently than our rivals we can accelerate the programmes and be able to compete with the World in 2012. 

“Our GB squads are by no means finalised, we are still recruiting via our regional centres. We’ve already seen considerable growth of interest in the sport and now have around 150 people playing regularly in the UK, up from just 40 in summer 2009. I would encourage anyone who’s interested to get involved with our programmes: you never know, you could be representing your country in a few years’ time on a world stage!”

Sitting Volleyball was introduced to the Paralympic Games in 1980 as a men’s sport, and later as a women’s sport at the Athens Paralympics in 2004. The GB Sitting Volleyball hopes both men’s and women’s squads will compete in the London 2012 Games: the first time Great Britain will put forward Sitting Volleyball teams to compete in the Paralympics.

In Sitting Volleyball, the international rules for Standing Volleyball apply in principle, with amendments allowing for a sport for disabled players: during play, a player must touch the court with some part of their body between the buttocks and the shoulders and also you are able to block the serve. Sitting Volleyball is played on a smaller court (meaning quicker points and faster, more exciting play) with a lower net to account for the players’ seated positions.

East Midlands Lions come 3rd in Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix

The Volleyball Eengland National Volleyball Centre, Kettering played host to the first of 4 Sitting Volleyball Grand Prix Series events yesterday with a huge success.

8 teams comprised of 65% disabled athletes came from England and Wales to kick start the new domestic Sitting Volleyball competition.  The tournament was

played in a very sporting yet competitive manner with all teams makiing

improvements throughout their 7 matches and East Midlands finishing by winning 7 matches and losing just 2 on their competitive debut.

The event also played host to the Volleyball England National Technical Official Development Programme with up and coming line judges and scorers giving up their time to volunteer on the event and hone their skills.

The results combined points for winning matches but also bonus points for fielding athletes who are eligible for the GB Sitting Volleyball side as per WOVD rules. 

With 4 wins out of 7 and 6 eligible athletes fielded in all matches the FDSW Celtic Dragons, based in Cardiff, built on their training regime of 3 or 4 sessions a week to take the tournament title. They went into the last match of the day against East London Lynx having secured the title but the runners up places were still up for grabs with East Midlands Lions playing Tower Hamlets for their chance to finish 2nd.  Tower Hamlets, a late entry of all able bodied players, continued their successful undeafted day to take 5th place with a win to push East Midlands Lions into 3rd, allowing East London Lynx to push through and beat the Welsh side to secure 2nd place.  4th place was filled by Wild Cats, a wild card team comprising players from Surrey and others with no formal centre wishing to take part.

The East Midlands Lions pulls together the best players from across the East Midlands from the 2 training locations in Lincoln on a Tuesday and Loughborough on a Friday.

The results from the Sitting Volleyball Centres go into a league table to be combined with the other 3 Grand Prix Series events to establish the final standings ahead of the Final between the top 2 sides.  The next leg of the Series takes place at the National Volleyball Centre on 24th January whereby it is hoped a number of other Sitting Volleyball Centres will join in the competition.

The 2nd stage of the Grand Prix happens this weekend

For full results and the league table please click here.

For more information on Sitting Volleyball in the East Midlands please contact rich@eastmidlandsvb.co.uk.

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