Time for a news update as there are so many exciting things happening for our former campers, mentors and coaches.
Ben Lucas won his first England senior cap against Scotland at the beginning of June, successfully making the often difficult step up to the senior squad.
Alice Brand and Carla Hulme paired up as one of the two England teams competing in the MEVZA (Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association) U20 Beach Volleyball Youth Cup along with another camper, Leah Blight in the other team for the competition in Slovenia.
Coach Will McDonald had a busy weekend of coaching with Richmond at the National Finals in Kettering where they were represented in every age group and along with several campers, winning 2 out of the 3 girls finals.
Another of our coaches, Rachel Hynes, managed the difficult role of Player/Coach to steer Dartford ladies to the South East Region championship.
Hannah Carey, a great friend of VbDC who has now settled the USA, battled back from an injury to compete at the USA Volleyball Nationals Women’s A division in Columbus Ohio and come a very credible 31st place, considering there were 482 teams.
One face that we sadly probably won’t be seeing this summer, but who’s voice we hopefully will be hearing a lot of is Clayton Lucas as he is busy providing, seemingly non-stop, english language commentary for the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL).
Finally Ailsa McDonald who started as a camper, progressed to become a mentor and then a coach, currently working towards her level 2 qualification and culminating her time at the University of East London (UEL) was recently awarded the Service to Sports Award, no doubt taking into consideration the work she does with GB Sitting volleyball. Incidentally Ailsa’s multi talents also stretch to filming and producing the videos on this site.
Former VbDC camper Alejandro Losada, who hails from Ludo, Spain, near Santiago de Compostella, has been given more court time than usual for a freshman, as he wraps up his first year as a member of the Wittenberg University men’s varsity team in Springfield, Ohio.
Losada took part in 42 sets in 21 matches of the mens’ 25-game season, and put six services aces, two blocks and 16 points on his personal scoresheet. Most first-year athletes spend the majority of their introductory season on the bench while they learn the college’s playing style. The Tigers had 17 men on this year’s squad, and finished their season in the NCAA Division III North Coast Atlantic Conference with a 14-11 record.
Ohio university gives Losada first-year court timeVolleyball20122018-05-25T08:31:35+00:00
Hannah Carey, former VbDC camper and coach, has stayed on in the US after completing her bachelor’s degree at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, where she played volleyball for four years under a full ride scholarship, and won All-American honours in her final year as an undergraduate.
Receipt of a degree normally concludes an athlete’s career at a US university, but Carey’s performance at the school was so impressive – she also took part in the first conference beach tournament in her final semester, and took fourth place – that the university offer her a fifth year under scholarship to study for her masters degree in sports management, as an assistant in the school’s successful volleyball program.
Masters studies scholarship for CareyVolleyball20122018-05-25T08:32:25+00:00
Jess Grimson, who decided to devote her sports career to volleyball after attending a VbDC camp, reached the quarter finals of the beach volleyball competition at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games with her partner Vicki Palmer.
Grimson attended one of the first VbDC camps as a teenager, when she was being courted by a US university to play football. Active in a variety of sports, Grimson had also taken a serious interest in volleyball and was undecided which of the two sports she wanted to focus on. Years later, as a guest speaker at a VbDC Elite Camp, she told her audience that her experience at the camp had been a factor in her decision to concentrate on the court game, which eventually led to her move to sand.
In a recent interview posted on the Volleyball England website, Grimson said one of the athletes who had inspired her to move into the sand game was Lucy Boulton, who has previously coached at a VbDC camp
Grimson fourth at Commonwealth GamesVolleyball20122018-05-22T22:19:17+00:00
VbDC’s head coach for the 2018 Elite Camp, Luke Thomas, has teamed up with former England juniors coach Carol Gordon, who has also coached a VbDC camp, to become commentators for Volleyball England’s web streaming of games and tournaments. They made their debut in Kettering, Northamptonshire on the final day of the National Junior Championships, and feedback on their game analysis was sufficiently positive for them to be invited back to do further work in future streaming.
Their first effort at commentating was made technically smoother than the experience another team of anchors had on the previous day, after repairs were made to a breakdown in the audio link which had interrupted the new streaming service. But their ability to present as a team was due to work that began many years before: Gordon was Thomas’s coach when he was a member of the England Cadet squad from 2000 to 2002.
Two coaches become match commentatorsVolleyball20122018-05-23T13:43:05+00:00