For all clubs alike this year, it’s been a challenge to adapt to our new environment and approach to sport. However, at Edinburgh University Volleyball Club we’re proud of how we’ve made the best out of our given circumstances. While it has been difficult, at the same time it has also been incredibly exciting and rewarding to see our club come together to find new ways of enjoying the sport and community we all love.
Our planning for this season started early in the summer and wouldn’t have been made possible without support from the wider community. Over the summer, we established a partnership with Edinburgh Beach Volleyball Club, who we are so grateful to for giving us the opportunity to start our own beach programme. While this had been a topic of conversation in our club for some time, it wasn’t until now that we had the push and opportunity to start our own programme which will no doubt continue in future years. Although most of us still haven’t gotten used to the cold feet, our beach programme has been a really exciting new experience for coaches and players alike. Likewise, our grass sessions that we most heavily rely on wouldn’t have been possible without support from Scottish Volleyball and the Volleyball Support Fund. We are incredibly thankful for the equipment we have that allows us to run grass sessions on the Meadows almost every day of the week for our entire range of teams. Our training may look very different these days but nonetheless we’re grateful to be able to get outside, see our friends and play volleyball.
Outside of training, we’ve found creative ways to keep our community connected. We’ve hosted a few virtual socials including a pub quiz and game night, which have been great opportunities to see old friends and make new ones as well. We’ve also run several recreational and competitive tournaments both on the grass and beach. Our most recent Halloween tournament was a huge success, and we had some great costumes which spectators passing by at Portobello Beach thoroughly enjoyed. Friendships across teams in the club have always been a big part of what makes our community so strong, so most recently we’ve also introduced families which are groups made up of members across different teams and years. Not only will these families help integrate new players into the wider club community, but they will also provide an important support system for both new and returning players. We know that many students have faced particularly unusual and challenging circumstances this year, so our club has placed an emphasis on promoting mental health. Our aim is not only to provide an inclusive and encouraging environment to play sport in, but also a network of support for our players. We look forward to hosting more socials and competitions where our families can bond and compete against one another.
Overall, we’ve been blown away by the dedication from our players, committee members and coaches in making the best of our current circumstances. Whether it’s players hosting virtual Strength & Conditioning sessions for their teams over Zoom, helping run training sessions, arriving early and staying late to help with equipment or more, we’ve seen a massive amount of effort to help the club. None of this would be possible without our extremely dedicated committee, who have been working incredibly hard to adapt to our new environment and deliver the best possible experience to our players. We’re also so grateful for the continued support from our coaches, who have been key in delivering safe training sessions. It’s been amazing to see members from across the club go above and beyond during these times. For many of us, the volleyball club has become even more important now than in the past. Getting to enjoy some fresh air outside and seeing our friends is often what helps get us through tough weeks. In a way, the situation we are faced with has grown our club even more, bringing about new opportunities for everyone to get involved and enjoy volleyball.