It was a record-breaking performance from Team Scotland at the 2015 Sainsbury’s School Games in Manchester.
A total of gold, silver and bronze medals matched with six ‘super six’ golden ball awards only tells part of the story!
The Volleyball cadet programme gives young athletes the opportunity to be part of and experience a multi-sport international event. The athletes learn the values of passion, belief, honesty, respect, determination and teamwork while testing themselves to perform their best when it matters most.
All athletes that attended the programme and the games themselves were exemplary on this front as they actively engaged in the process of learning, developing and showing what it takes to be an elite athlete.
All 48 players who travel by bus and plane on Thursday morning received plaudits from coaches, organisers, scouts, staff and athlete mentors alike about the way they conducted themselves, their professionalism, team work and volleyball knowledge.
For full results and match stats please visit the Sainsbury’s School Games Website
For pictures from the games please visit the VolleyballPhotos Website
To view the closing ceremony video from the 2015 games click HERE
To view the video montage from the 2015 School Games click HERE
The spirit of the School Games and the spectacular Scottish Performance were exemplified in three matches in particular;
Five matches in the girls competition went to a 3rd set decider, Scotland West were involved in four of them! The first being the Scotland East vs Scotland West girls match. Although the highlight of the games is usually the Scotland vs. England encounters, our teams managed to push each other to a new level.
The West girls managed to win the serve/pass battle in the first set to win 25-21 but East showed great mental strength to step up with some brave passing which allowed the team to run their middle attack lead by captain Shona Fraser to great effect as they took the 2nd set 25-19.
The tie-break set was close until the superior serving from West came true again but the match will be remembered for the passion, fight and determination of all Scottish Players on court.
The fact that West won gold and East finished in 4th shows how close the competition was and it’d be fair to say in any other year there would never be three places between these two teams. The future for Women’s Volleyball in Scotland certainly looks bright.
The 2nd match which stood out from the games was also the East vs. West encounter but this time it was on the boys court where the teams met at the semi-final stage of the competition.
The game featured 24 players, 3 coaches, 2 referees and 3 NTOs all from Scotland!
The games was undoubtedly the best two performances of the tournament with some truly top level defence from both teams resulting a large amount of crowd engagement in the game.
Libero’s Michael Lee and Stuart MacKenzie and setters Rhys Arthur and Lewis McMillan traded defensive pick-ups all through the match as neither team was willing to concede anything to the other.
West ran out narrow winners to book their place in the final but the standard of play was so high in the match and the attitude of the players so good, that there were certainly no losers from such a game.
The best was perhaps saved for last in the Women’s final as Scotland West took on England Juniors, who had beaten them in the opening game of the tournament.
The girls started off without an evidence of any nerves whatsoever taking an early 4-0 lead thanks to strong serving from TBC. The girls managed to maintain the level and stayed calm in front of the capacity crowd at the Sugden Sports Centre to win the first set 25-21.
England as expected came out fighting in the 2nd set winning comfortably 25-14 despite some stubborn Scottish defence.
The early exchanges in the deciding 3rd set were fairly even as the atmosphere cranked up another notch as the noise and heat increased every time a point was scored. The 3rd set took a significant turn as Scotland found themselves 7-5 up but up against the momentum. It was at this point that after two touches the ball was headed out of court and towards to stand on Scotland’s side. Scotland Captain Laura Milliken somehow managed to dive and not only save the ball but return it over the net for Scotland to win the point. From what looked like England serving to try and level 7-7, Scotland had now switched ends with a 3 point advantage thanks to their captain’s extraordinary commitment, which ended in her needing a medical time-out as a by-product of stopping the ball hit the ground was to sacrifice her nose.
This moment galvanised the belief of the Scotland West girls as the ball was set to Corrie Gwynne at position four on match point up against a tall English block but full of confidence she powered the ball straight through the block and into the middle of the court to win the gold medal for Head Coach Jess Reid and the Scotland West girls.
Although the success across the board has been down to an brilliant amount of team work, there were stand-out individuals within that. With Scotland winning a record 50% of the Golden Ball awards and Jennifer McMillan winning the 100% Me spirit of the School Games award!
Congratulations to Golden Ball winners;
|Conor Walker||Scotland West Boys|
|Rhys Arthur||Scotland East Boys|
|Stuart MacKenzie||Scotland West Boys|
|Nicole Ramage||Scotland West Girls|
|Shona Fraser||Scotland East Girls|
|Julianne Hendry||Scotland West Girls|
The atmosphere at the volleyball was spectacular, predominately due to the sizeable and vocal tartan army of parents, friends and family! The atmosphere across the home nations, however, was evident at the closing ceremony with the volleyball group by far the loudest and proudest participants.
Congratulations to all 16 team staff who haven’t just given up their summer to run the programme but have also been working so hard all year round to develop the base of volleyball and provide opportunities for our youngsters. There is no doubting the impact this effort has on the athletes both in terms of the level of volleyball but also on the impact on them as people.
It would be seem given the amount of work put in by these individuals somewhat unfair to single anyone out, however, this happened to be the 10th consecutive year (every year of the School Games!) in which Linda Anderson has dedicated to being involved as Team Manager for the West girls and also as an invaluable organiser of the Scottish Volleyball Cadet Programme. Her dedication is appreciated by all staff and players over the years and at least she now has a gold medal to match her heart of gold.
The best part about the School Games Programme……….. We get to do it all again next year at Loughborough 2016!
SPREAD THE WORD!
Club & Participation Development Officer
|SCO West Boys||SCO East Boys||SCO West Girls||SCO East Girls||Officials|
|Blair Gilies||Ben McHardy||Ailsa Davies||Amy Rankin||Grant MacIntyre|
|Charlie McFarlane||Cameron Hardman||Alexandra Fripp||Anna Crawford||Artur Kopacz|
|Conor Walker||Edward Oldbury||Corrie Gwynne||Asia Purdie||Jamie Salvin|
|Fraser Dunlop||Lewis Crockart||Fiona Campbell||Deirdre O’Riordan||Kevin Amos|
|Jonathan Baines||Mark Cathro||Hannah Paisley||Emma Waldie||Dave Cormie|
|Lewis McMillan||Michael Lee||Jennifer McMillan||Jennifer Lee||Hannah Lawrie|
|Luke Stevenson||Mitchell Brown||Joanne McGuffie||Kirsty Manclark||Jean Bruce|
|Mark Hickey||Peter Dijkhuizen||Julianne Hendry||Kirsty MacIver||Craig Girvan|
|Matthew Baines||Rhys Arthur||Laura Milliken||Natalia Blaszczak||Ross Allan|
|Ross Gillespie||Ronan Harrison||Natalie Smith||Rachel Ferguson|
|Stiuart MacKenzie||Sean Harrison||Nicole Ramage||Sarah Kelly|
|Zac Lynn||Sean Platts Stobie||Rosie Watkins||Shona Fraser|
|Tom Rooney||Ian Brownlee||Jess Reid||Vince Krawczyk|
|Bill Stobie||Doug Crockart||Jillian Galloway||Juliana Facanha|
|John Galloway||Heather Darling||Linda Anderson||Aileen Hall|