I cannot believe it’s been a year since my first day with Scottish Volleyball, I think I can safely say it has been a year like no other. I was very much an outsider coming into the sport and I will be forever thankful to those who gave me the opportunity. I had a few thanks but no thanks from other sports and was starting to think that my leap of faith was going to turn into more of step off a cliff, but I could not be happier where I am. Volleyball adopted me with open arms, the staff, volunteers, and wider volleyball community have been brilliant, and I feel totally at home in my (not so) new role.
For obvious reasons, I haven’t had much of a chance to perform the remit I was employed to in some ways but like the rest of the team, I feel we were quick to adapt and have used as an opportunity to develop our sport and prepare for the future.
It has been a privilege to be involved in forming the new partnerships with SAMH and the University of the West of Scotland and I firmly believe they will provide great benefits for our sport over the coming months and years. The rebranding process and helping to create our new mission, vision and vales document helped me forge a strong bond with the sport and my colleagues and it is a process I truly enjoyed and will strive to life these new values every day. The launch of SVTV and getting the chance to interview a world champion live on Facebook from my garden shed was surreal and probably a once in a lifetime moment.
It’s not always been highs as you would expect, we have spent more time writing, rewriting and amending guidelines to play than I have actually being involved in the delivery and that has been tough. I like the rest of the staff have missed the contact time with our membership, delivery in schools has been reasonably non-existent for most of the year. As much as I was assured it is an extremely tough, both physically and mentally demanding week for the staff I was looking forward to finals weekend like I am sure many of you were. I have not had the chance to get out and meet anywhere near as many of you as I would have in normal circumstances.
Some other highlights must be around playing a small part in helping the West Coast Beach Volleyball Club become a reality. The work Kelsie, Sam and Stewart have done is been great to see. Watching the development work delivered at Greenwood Academy has certainly been another highlight and I am excited to see how that project develops. The successful pilot of the recreational volleyball programme Dig-It and the great junior beach event at Troon also spring to mind when reflecting over the last 12 months. I’m excited to see how our new kit from Zeon will look when it arrives, and I am currently working hard on the final pieces of that jigsaw.
I successfully applied to take part in the SportScotland champions of change programme which recently started, and I can already see the important role that training, and partnership working will have in my future actions in this role. I was also appointed as the understudy for the Beach Volleyball team manager for the Birmingham 2022 commonwealth games which is an amazing opportunity and again an opportunity to develop my knowledge and skill base to help my day to day work developing our sport.
Think I would like to finish the #TimeOut piece by thanking everyone I have had the pleasure to meet and work over the last year. In particular my colleagues from the office, they all work incredibly hard and go above and beyond on an almost daily basis and have made me feel part of the team from day 1. We are passionate about improving our sport and I feel the future is bright and exciting.
Stay safe, look after yourself and look out for others, I look forward to seeing you on a court or the sand soon