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.
Following on from contacts made at the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) convention last December we have been invited by the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States to send an under-18 womens team to its 2019 AAU National Tournament in Orlando, Florida, on 21-24 June.
In a fast-track pace to assemble the squad in less than 90 days, VbDC have already put together a coaching and administration team and will conduct the first training session on 15 April.
In order to put a competitive team into the International Division of the 180-court tournament, VbDC will attempt to arrange several weekend training sessions, a final try-out session, and as many days of intensive training just prior to departing for the tournament as possible.
The value of participation in the tournament for athletes of a high skill level cannot be underestimated; some 600 US university volleyball coaches and scouts attend the tournament in order to spot potential candidates for their teams.
Interested players should contact VbDC as soon as possible before 5 April in order to obtain a prospectus, and to put their name on the weekly updates e-mail list.
A former VbDC camper and mentor will be travelling to Minneapolis in December to take part in a showcase of talent before scouts and coaches at the American Volleyball Coaches Association convention.
Ben Lucas, a member of the England U-19 squad, will participate in the showcase with other young men who are looking for scholarships to play at US universities. Lucas is the third male VbDC alumnus to have received offers to play on a sports scholarship in America, but he is the first to use the AVCA showcase to broaden awareness of his volleyball skills among university recruiters.
At the showcase, athletes are taken to a closed gym to participate in a variety of drills and activities that display their skills. Lucas plans to attend university in autumn 2019.
It’s nearly convention time again, we will shortly be getting our winter clothes ready for a trip to Minneapolis
We here at VbDC have been members of the American Volleyball Coaches Association – @AVCAVolleyball – for almost as long as we have been running camps. We first attended the AVCA Convention in 2010 and have attended as often as we can ever since. The convention and all the associated events is a great opportunity to pick up on all the latest trends and tactics in the game as well as seeing the latest products not to mention the numerous networking opportunities.
Over the years the number of international coaches attending the convention has steadily increased. To further grow that number the AVCA are offering a discount of $330 off the full convention price to coaches travelling from Great Britain.
This year the convention and NCAA Finals are in Minneapolis between December 12th and 16th and the all important discount code you need is –
If you are heading to Minneapolis this year, drop us a line so that we can meet up for a coffee.
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.
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.