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November 2012



o :V p i de Ins ralym Pa and



lle ia yba ns l ref l’s Oly l ec m p ia n s t on London 2012

THE VOLLEYBALL GAMES An interview with LOCOG Volleyball Manager Bob Clarke

GAMES MAKER DIARY Life as a Games Maker at London 2012

s t n e t n co 3 WELCOME


On the cover: GB beach volleyball pairing Zara Dampney and Shauna Mullin celebrate their first Olympic victory against Canadian pairing Marie-Andree Lessard and Annie Martin (photograph©BM Totterdell) )

Bimonthly - Volume 11 - No 1 ISSN 1479-0785


If you would like your news or views printed in 3Touch Volleyball, get in touch with the editor at: Volleyball England SportPark, Loughborough University, No. 3 Oakwood Drive, Loughborough Leicestershire LE11 3QF E-mail: Tel: 01509 227 722 Fax: 01509 227 733 English Volleyball Association Ltd. is registered in England number 2023635. Published November 2012 by

Newark Street, Accrington, Lancs BB5 0BP Email: Designed by Viv Ettenfield Editorial Board: Lisa Wainwright - Chief Executive Rob Harding - Head of Marketing and Communications Jessica Taylor - Marketing and Communications Officer Mark Pritchard - New Media Officer Kirsty Meynell - Writer Chris Gregory - Writer Tim Griffiths - Writer Andy Hopper – Member Subscriptions/Merchandise: £3 per issue, £15 annually Volleyball England: 01509 227 722 © Volleyball England 2012 For all queries regarding subscriptions, non-receipt and address changes, email Volleyball England at info@ or write to Volleyball England at the address shown above. Please include your affiliation number in all correspondence. Although this is an official publication of Volleyball England, the views expressed in this magazine may not be those of the Association. Products appearing in 3Touch Volleyball magazine are not necessarily endorsed by Volleyball England. All contributions welcomed. These should be emailed to the editor at, where possible, or sent to Volleyball England for the attention of the editor, 3Touch Volleyball magazine. All photographs should be captioned to identify their contents and the photographer noted to acknowledge the source. Volleyball England Equality Statement: Volleyball England supports the principle of equal opportunities for all participants, members, representatives and employees whilst working for, or on behalf of the EVA. It opposes all forms of unlawful and unfair discrimination on the grounds of age, colour, race, nationality, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, marital status, sexuality, HIV status, or unrelated criminal convictions, or disability.


Welcome messages from Chief Executive Lisa Wainwright and President Richard Callicott

News and views from the world of volleyball Denise Austin talks Volleyball England Beach Tour, Olympic Games and her hopes for the future

8 THE GAMES EFFECT: CHESTERFIELD COBRAS A club case study on the impact of London 2012

10 Building a Bright Future

An update on the membership proposal


Dave Goodchild on his role in the GB women’s Olympic campaign and coaching Team Northumbria


An interview with LOCOG Volleyball Manager Bob Clarke


Olympians Zara Dampney and Dan Hunter and Paralympian Emma Wiggs reflect on their experiences


A look back at some of volleyball’s most historic moments during the Games


A behind the scenes account of life as a Games Maker during London 2012


We get the refereeing low down from gold medal match referee Damien Searle


A close up with photographer Barbara Totterdell on what it was like capturing the Games on camera

e m o c Wel

Richard Callicott - President It has been a fantastic summer for our sport and everyone did an excellent job in not only putting on one of the best Olympic and Paralympic Games ever but one of the best volleyball Games ever. The feedback from the world federation, the FIVB, has been extremely positive and they now know that there is a huge appetite for volleyball in England. We must pay tribute to all of the volunteers and current and former Volleyball England staff that helped put on the greatest show on earth. Well done everyone! It’s also a time to reflect on how we grow our sport in all its forms and build a sustainable sport to secure its bright future. We are busy talking to Sport

England about funding for the next four years to continue to engage in initiatives that will help grow participation in our sport, not only playing but volunteering, coaching and refereeing. It’s also clear that we should not rely on this funding – it’s a privilege not a right and so we must ensure core activities are able to stand on their own two feet. At the same time we must deliver better services and benefits to the people who put in a huge amount of hours to make our sport happen. We have called an EGM on the 10th November where we propose to change our membership structure to develop a better service to members. There are still huge opportunities on the world stage and we are playing an active role in developing better relationships to promote volleyball in England. At the World Congress I was re-appointed as Chair of the Commonwealth Games Steering Committee as we strive to secure inclusion of beach volleyball in the 2018 Commonwealth Games at which English teams would play.

I would also like to congratulate Lisa Wainwright on her appointment on the first ever Ethics Panel for the FIVB as the European representative. We have a great sport, and now we must capitalise on previous successes and build for the future.

The flags flying at Horse Guards Parade, London 2012

Lisa Wainwright - Chief Executive So what a summer! Six Great Britain teams successfully competed in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games! Thousands of staff, volunteers (Games Makers), Torchbearers and fans enjoyed the best ever Games! The nation as a whole was GREAT! You were a part of it! So now onto our vision for 2022! We have achieved so much over the last few years and if the Games demonstrated anything it is… that anything is possible! No matter what the doubters think, with clear vision, planning, focus, teamwork and a ‘can do’ attitude – we can achieve! We’ve just started the process of thinking ahead for the next 10 years – if you have any ideas please do let me know via email at

Following the Games, Richard and I attended the World Congress in the USA. For the first time in 65 years the FIVB held an election to appoint a new President. Three candidates were nominated and the President was elected – Dr Ary Graça from Brazil. This is real progress for the sport in terms of democracy and transparency and we look forward to supporting the new President as he starts his tenure. Also another first, I was elected onto the first ever Ethics Panel for the FIVB, the only woman and also the only representative for Europe. So I hope to ensure the FIVB continues with the new found transparency as we head towards Rio 2016 and beyond. More at home, it’s that time of year when all sports bid to Government for funding for the next four year cycle. We are busy completing application forms, providing evidence, producing case studies, capturing results, presenting to panels and showcasing everything we have done over the last three and a half years to hopefully continue with the support we have previously gained from Government. It is clear we have so

much more to offer as a fully integrated sport and we will do everything we can to represent the sport in the best light. Funding announcements are due in December to be ready for the new financial year starting in April. Keep up the excellent work, it all helps show what we have and can continue to deliver.

Lisa with former FIVB president Jizhong Wei and his wife Lingpei Li at London 2012


s w e n y e l Vol

New beach volleyball facilities open in London

The London 2012 Olympic Games has introduced a whole new fan base to the sport of beach volleyball in England. Thanks to a unique partnership between Volleyball England, The London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) and Sport England – four new beach facilities opened in London last month. It is hoped that the Go Spike facilities will help to create a lasting legacy for volleyball and encourage young people in London to adopt healthier, more active lifestyles, creating a sporting habit for life. Over the course of the project LOCOG donated over 4,000 tonnes of sand from the Horse Guards Parade Beach Volleyball venue and the training courts in St James’ Park. The project has been funded by Sport England with almost half a million pounds worth of funding secured through local partnerships. The locations of the new courts include: Wimbledon Park, Merton Barn Elms Sports Centre, Wandsworth Samuel Montagu Youth Centre, Kidbrooke

Loxford Park, Redbridge The investment forms part of Volleyball England’s grassroots Go Spike campaign which is aimed at increasing participation in volleyball. Go Spike comprises free ‘come and try’ taster sessions across the country. Lisa Wainwright, Chief Executive of Volleyball England, adds: “We are hoping that the buzz around the London 2012 Olympic Games will inspire more people to try out beach volleyball as a fun and exciting new sport, so it’s important that we provide accessible facilities to encourage more regular spectators and players.” There are now nineteen courts across seven new beach volleyball facilities in London using sand from the London 2012 Games and the Test event in 2011 at Horse Guards Parade.

2012 Volleyball England Beach Tour

showcased on Sky Sports 4 HD The climax of a highly entertaining and competitive 2012 Volleyball England Beach Tour was aired on Sky Sports in October – showcasing the very best of the domestic game. During the summer the Volleyball England Beach Tour (VEBT) visited several seaside resorts around the English coastline setting the scene for an action packed finals event, where the 2012 National Beach Volleyball Champions were crowned on Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth. Thanks to a new partnership with LED Sport Europe, a division of Maritime Media Services Ltd, the finals featured a 35ft wide screen, which relayed every moment of the action to the players, spectators and public during the event.

For more information and to find out about the local opportunities in your area, please visit

35ft screen showing the action live on Boscombe Beach during the VEBT Finals

Go Spike session on the new beach courts in Redbridge

Dr Don Anthony MBE Memorial Event A memorial event was held in honour of Dr Don Anthony MBE on Thursday 8th November at 5:00pm. Dr Anthony spent the past 60 years developing, educating and empowering people through his work in sport, both as a professional educator and in a voluntary capacity. In October 2011 he was awarded an MBE in recognition of his important role in the development of volleyball in this country and for his work around the philosophy, history and evolution of sport for the British Olympic Association. His passing in May 2012, so close to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games was a huge loss to our sport. The memorial event was an opportunity to remember and honour Dr Don Anthony MBE who was a wonderful inspiration to so many people.

For more information please visit the Volleyball England website 4

Jake Sheaf in action at Boscombe

GB stars join the National Volleyball League

The pair who both played professionally in Holland prior to the Olympics will be a crucial part of Wessex’s bid for promotion. Hunter commented,“It’s a different level, of course. We are used to playing in front of 15,000 people abroad and we had just over 100 at the Watford game this weekend. “But it’s a start and our roles have changed now from getting results for Great Britain to trying to develop the sport in this country.” Wessex Ladies have signed Great Britain

international Vicky Palmer for the current women’s Super 8s campaign. Palmer learned her trade at Wessex before playing professionally in Belgium ahead of the Games where she narrowly missed out on a place in the Team GB squad. Meanwhile GB beach volleyball player Shauna Mullin who partnered Zara Dampney at Horse Guards Parade this summer rejoins her former team Malory Eagles in their bid for the Super 8s title.

Introduction of the UKCC Level 2 After several months of collaboration with representatives of the home nations, the Volleyball England UKCC Level 2 Certificate in Coaching Volleyball (QCF) will be launched in December in the North East. Working in partnership with the North East Volleyball Association, the inaugural UKCC Level 2 will be held at Middlesbrough College, as a four day course, over two weekends. The UKCC Level 2 has been approved by 1st 4Sport and is aligned with the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) as a recognised and professional coaching qualification. The UKCC Level 2 course builds on the principles established at UKCC Level 1 incorporating the generic ‘how to’ craft skills of coaching in a volleyball context. These are extended further, particularly with regard to practical coaching which is conducted on and off the course. Learners will be given time to reflect on the concepts learned, and how these new concepts can be applied in their own coaching environments. The essence of a UKCC Level 2 course is to prepare coaches to be able to plan, deliver and review a progressive series of coaching sessions. Learners are supported through a process of mentorship and shadowing. In the design of the course there are opportunities for learners to return to their chosen club environment to engage in this process as

well as undertake some practice in coaching with players in the team. There is an opportunity for clubs and their Head Coaches (with a minimum Level 2 qualification) to support learner coaches who may be their own club members and also to assist guest coaches where possible. The support given to Head Coaches and the specific documentation related to assessment will enable them to extend their skills in mentoring, assessment and action planning. In a wider context we see positive outcomes such as an overall improvement in volleyball coaching and more generally, the opportunity to meet more local coaches and to exchange ideas between coaches. There is a phased approach to the development of the UKCC Level 2. The first series of UKCC Level 2 courses will focus on the indoor game. There will be later opportunity to attend additional specialist modules in the beach volleyball and sitting volleyball disciplines.

photograph©BM Totterdell

Olympians Dan Hunter and Ben Pipes, who both played crucial roles for Team GB in the London 2012 Games this summer, have joined National League Division One side, Wessex.

Ben Pipes in action for GB, at London 2012

Go Spike in Numbers Go Spike is Volleyball England’s campaign to get more adults (16+) playing volleyball. Get involved at


users on the permanent beach courts


users on semi-permanent beach courts


people have taken part at volleyball on come and try courts at events


new participants in clubs 1,426 are now participating regularly


new students are participating in volleyball at University with 955 now playing regularly with the support of our HEVO network


new participants via Community Development Coaches of which 1,260 are now participating regularly

487 Twitter followers 353 Facebook likes 22,782 unique visitors to the Go Team Northumbria’s Head Coach Dave Goodchild watches on from the sideline

Spike website (30,266 total)

To find out more about Volleyball England’s coaching courses or to register on a course please visit or contact Kev Tann, Coaching Development Officer at or 01509 22 77 30 5


So what gives Denise such ‘staying power’? For Denise “tenacity” is the key word for her consistent success, and the reason she stays at the top of her game and the domestic tour. Denise has a huge passion for the game and relishes the thought of another season on the VEBT competing against the junior athletes she coaches and mentors within the Croyde beach volleyball club. “At first, they don’t really know what’s hit them, but after the gloves are off it makes them realise what they have to do and pushes them to be better athletes and improve their game.” In this ‘master’ against the ‘apprentice’ scenario, the juniors of the Croyde beaches have more hunger to prove themselves against their guru than anyone else, Denise explains, “because they know it’s my goal, they see how hard I have worked to achieve it. It helps them to understand what they have to do in order to be successful.” As a Volleyball England Community Development Officer and coach in her region, Denise stresses the importance of nurturing promising talent and providing opportunities for them to compete in competitions like the VEBT through a talent pathway. “The players continue to thrive on their experiences as young athletes, and have great ambition for their future in the sport so it’s important to support and encourage them as much as possible – the VEBT is a fantastic way for them to measure their progress against the top players in the country.” Another source of inspiration for the next


QUEEN (From left to right) Jess Grimson, Mel Coutts, Denise Austin and Vicky Palmer

OF THE BEACH By Chris Gregory

generation of beach volleyball players came from London 2012 – and in the aftermath of the Games, many of us are suffering with ‘POD’ (Post Olympic Depression). However Denise reflects on the impact it had amongst her current players of the Croyde beach club. “They are all already very motivated; it’s all part of a bigger picture for them, but they were amazed and very grateful to have had the opportunity to see such an amazing spectacle and great athletes at the home games.” The general public in Croyde have also responded to the marvels witnessed at Horse Guards. “While some of the courts aren’t advertised as much as others, they are all in higher demand; I have been bombarded with emails from people wanting to get involved. The sessions in Croyde were extra busy. Now

we need to look at where we can make the biggest difference long term!” While the courts are being used more and more, Denise still promotes the game and encourages people to get involved wherever and whenever she can. “Ultimately, you never know where your success is going to come from; it’s all done through a network.”

So from Denise’s view what will the London Olympics mean for English beach volleyball in the future? The Olympic Sand Legacy and new beach courts opening around certain areas in the country is a major movement in progressing the sport to new heights in England. Denise said “Obviously the legacy is a hugely positive thing and will have a major impact on the sport, especially in London.” The iconic venue at Horse Guards Parade was a start in profiling and exposing the sport further and having the opportunity to play on the Olympic sand is hugely inspiring. But while London will benefit with almost ten new outdoor beach facilities, other major cities around the UK will also need to be considered in the future – to strengthen the network of talented players and enhance the accessibility and national profile of the sport.

e dives for the bal l du Denis r

ing the Bo ur on als Fin uth mo ne be Beach Boscom

“Sport England and UK Sport need to work more closely and together they need to form a strategy. There are niche pockets around the country now and the knowledge that is coming through from the juniors is exceeding expectations. The standard is getting higher and it’s fundamental that this is acknowledged and nurtured. We share good practice but we need to inspire a more widespread competitiveness,” she says. Denise has seen a solid junior programme in place for five years and has produced the highest number of junior coaches in the UK. Could we see further administration and organisation to make this happen elsewhere?

For Denise’s ambitions now, it’s all about the next generation. “The main driving force for me is to sustain my energy and enthusiasm for the sport. I want to see my kids compete internationally, and to see a pathway form to a higher level of competition. I want to change the future for the generation underneath me. It’s been very hard, and the kids need to understand that goal setting is key. If we acknowledge this, as a small country we can be successful in beach volleyball.” Now that the Olympics are over, can we really “inspire a generation” and put the necessary steps in to ensure that beach volleyball receives the recognition it deserves in England? For Denise, the Queen of the VEBT, who has experienced the sport worldwide and carried a drive from the past to the present, this is a long-term dream. To see the results of last season or to find out more about the Volleyball England Beach Tour please visit competitions/ve_beach_tour





Be honest. Any doubt a player has about what you say to them will affect their ability to take your knowledge forward. They cannot absorb what you say about anything if there isn’t 100% trust.

Allow your passion for the game to drive your desire to share knowledge, inspire, create, reward, laugh, shout, cry with your players.


When coaching pairs remotely don’t do it without video evidence. The human dynamics of young players who are passionate but not always objective means the video recall helps you and them see all the little things that happened.

Have a mentor, or two. Surround yourself with people you trust to help you as a coach. Someone said to me it takes about 35 years so I am about half way in! Having wise ears to listen to you will keep you focused and motivated. I have about 10 mentors who I regularly sound out for ideas.




Be accessible even when athletes move on, and share experiences. Today I was talking beach volleyball to people in Israel and Hermosa Beach, coaching practice in Plymouth and sharing on drop box video clips with teachers across Devon.

The 2012 Beach Tour Finals, Boscombe Beach, Bournemouth


The Games Effect

Members of the Chesterfield Cobras Volleyball Club gather for a team shot after a training session

Chesterfield Cobras Volleyball England is delighted to report that the exposure volleyball has received since the London 2012 Games has translated into a rise in enquiries and people wanting to play the sport. However, the good news doesn’t stop there with clubs from across the country also reporting an increase. Many clubs are now taking to twitter and Facebook to attract new members and advertise new ‘come and try sessions’. 3Touch caught up with Chesterfield Cobras’ Head Coach, Kev Tann, to see what impact the London Games has really had on this friendly and inclusive, community volleyball club. Established in 2007 Chesterfield Cobras is a small club with a very bright future. With both men’s and women’s teams in a number of local and regional leagues across the East Midlands; their main goals are to expand the number of training nights on offer to better cater for the range of abilities, ages and enthusiasm the club attracts. They also harbour a long term ambition to enter teams into the National Volleyball League. Prior to the Games, the Cobras, like many other clubs, relied on word of mouth and from advertising with local colleges and


businesses in the area. Kev explains “It was great because the players wanted somewhere to play once they had finished their college education – which was fantastic for the club. We also recruited a number of players through our local fire service and the rest came from enquiries on social media and general word of mouth.”

So how has the Games affected Chesterfield Cobras? Since the Games, the club has enjoyed a significant rise in enquires and people approaching the Cobras. “We have had a really positive response since the Olympics, with a surge of people enquiring about playing. We’ve had a number of new members attending the club already, it has been brilliant!” Kev comments. Like many clubs, the Cobras has been looking for ways to capitalise on this increased demand. From Kev’s experience one of the most successful techniques for welcoming new players was to hold an open day. “To strike while the iron was hot we decided to hold a ‘Join In’ weekend in August, a few days after the closing ceremony. The weekend went really well – for us there’s

really no better way to attract people than to let them experience the game and try it out for themselves – both the Games and the ‘Join in’ campaign has really given us a head start.” “Many of our new members do attribute their new (or renewed) interest in the sport to seeing volleyball on the TV and they wanted to get involved because it looked like an exciting and fun sport.” The Cobras has also noticed a revitalised enthusiasm among their existing members “Everybody has returned to training reenergised and ready for the season. It has also been fantastic that family and friends who previously had no interest in the sport have watched the coverage and approached us with questions about why one player wears a different colour top!”

So how does a club of this size cope with the increased demand? As a club emerging and looking to expand its offering the Cobras have come across some common challenges. “We’ve found that the costs associated with playing can deter potential new players. The facility hire fees are high, and we require at least 18 people to attend training to cover the cost. This then causes other issues, as 18 people on 1 court can be difficult to coach!” To combat these issues the Cobras has looked to develop a relationship with their local council and leisure provider. “I met with

rates for all junior sessions. “This support is invaluable to the club and has allowed us to begin delivering after school clubs at the local junior and secondary schools. We also have interest from other schools as a result of the coverage of the London 2012 Games.” Kev also has hopes that this new found partnership will enable the Cobras to run

“This support is invaluable to the club and has allowed us to begin delivering after school clubs at the local junior and secondary schools.” the local authority, Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC) and Queens Park Sports centre to see how we can work together to not only develop volleyball at the club but also within the community – which was key to getting the council on side,” Kev explains. As a result of this work the Cobras has recently received a £1,000 grant to buy new equipment and offer additional volleyball to include junior and sitting volleyball sessions in their programme.

sitting volleyball sessions, a discipline that is close to the coach’s heart. “As a sitting volleyball player myself, I have always wanted to bring this relatively new discipline to the club and give players the opportunity to try it out. Following its coverage during the Paralympics the council is interested to help subsidise these new sessions and will work with us on a bid to purchase the equipment and fittings/markings required to run sitting volleyball sessions.”

The council has also agreed to help start up a junior section to the club by offering free facility hire until we are able to subsidise ourselves and then charge concessionary

In an exciting future development, CBC and QPSC have put forward a proposal to work in partnership with the Cobras to offer summer camps during the school holidays.

“The agreement will mean that the council will provide the sports hall and in return we provide the coaches and equipment and then split the proceeds.” “This really is a positive step for us as we look to continue to develop a solid junior section of the club – that way we can start to produce some home grown talent to take the club forward and ultimately secure the Cobras future.”

Fast facts Established: 2007 No. of members: 31 Teams: Men’s 1 – East Midlands Regional;

Men’s 2 – South Yorkshire Developmental; Women’s – East Midlands Regional; 2 mixed teams – Nottinghamshire League and Derbyshire League

Club contact details

Telephone: 07825 332979 Email: Website: Twitter: @cobras_vball



Things to consider when planning a club open day PLAN YOUR DAY WELL

It is important to identify what the purpose is of holding your open day and who the target market is in terms of age and ability levels. It may be to attract a certain type of member or generate extra income for your club. If you have conducted your research correctly you should have an idea on what you are able to deliver and the number of people you require to deliver the sessions. TOP TIP: Check local calendars for events that may conflict your session and limit the number of people who may wish to attend.

Use a variety of methods to let people know about your sessions. Use a warm and welcoming tone and emphasise that beginners are welcome. Have some flyers and cards ready to hand out that promote your club and sessions offered and display your club contact details. Check for demand first and link in with the local schools and organisations that already offer volleyball. TOP TIP: Look to use the internet to advertise your sessions – Facebook and twitter are fantastic and a free way to generate interest. Post messages in sports and community pages to get your message to the right people!


It’s good practice to link in with key stakeholders, the Local Authority and community groups. You may be able to run the sessions in partnership or get reduced rates for hall hire, extra equipment or low printing costs. TOP TIP: This is also an opportunity to sell club merchandise or run a tuck shop to generate additional funds for the club.

On the day make sure all activities have been planned and volunteers briefed. This is your sales pitch, get to know your participants and find out what they want out of sport. Give examples of how your club can meet those needs, expectations and goals. TOP TIP: Invite your club players to support the sessions and encourage the new participants. If the attendees feel comfortable and enjoy the session they are more likely to come back!


Ensure you take a register and take their contact details. Ask them if they know of any friends that might be interested in attending the sessions. TOP TIP: Tell them what the next steps will be and how you plan to follow up with them. Will you ask them all to come to a particular session if they would like to continue playing?


AFTER THE HIGHS OF THIS SUMMER’S OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES, THE FOCUS IS NOW ON HOW TO CAPITALISE ON THE ENTHUSIASM AND INTEREST IN VOLLEYBALL. IT’S TIME TO TAKE STOCK OF HOW WE CAN DO MORE FOR OUR MEMBERS AND NEW PARTICIPANTS COMING IN TO THE SPORT. The way we, Volleyball England, serve our members and the current club affiliation system has a number of major shortcomings. We have very few details about members and cannot take into account their needs when developing and offering benefits and services. Principally, the system does not allow us to communicate with our members in the way we want. Over the last 12 months we have been reviewing and consulting across the sport and believe the time is now right to change how we serve and administer membership. This issue has been ongoing for many years but it has become more important to address for the benefit of everyone.

including insurance, discounts, funding, event information, tickets, bespoke training sessions and access to conferences/ seminars. It would also allow Volleyball England to fully support the kinds of activities that we believe are important for the future success of the sport post London 2012. We feel the new system will be of huge benefit to all members and our hope is that members will feel not only that they get something from being a volleyball player, but also that they are actively supporting the development of volleyball for the future. To inform this discussion we have put together some specific questions (see overleaf ) which informs on current thinking. Further comments can be sent to info@ , please include ‘membership’ in the subject title.

GB sitting volleyball men take on Brazil at London 2012 Paralympic

An EGM on the 10th November will put forward changes on how we operate membership, in an effort to greatly improve services and to help with the development of the sport in all its forms. Volleyball England is putting forward a special resolution to its Articles of Association to enable the organisation to move to a system of Individual Player Registration from the beginning of the 2013/14 season. In the new proposal, players would register individually with Volleyball England and will receive a wide package of membership benefits which we aim to increase and improve upon in the future. The new arrangements will be simpler to administer, offer greater flexibility to the individual, and ensure that Volleyball England can offer a consistent, high class membership benefits package and service to all our members. A small fee will be required when registering. At the same time, the new proposal would help to ensure that members are aware of the various opportunities available to them


Team Northumbria celebrate winning the Super 8s at the National Volleyball Centre, Kettering 2012

Beach volleyball players Jess Grimson and Lizzie Smith in action, VEBT 2012, Great Yarmouth “YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED” 1. At present I play in a league organised by an affiliated region or area association, how would this new scheme affect me? Under the new proposal, you would pay a small registration fee to Volleyball England and receive a unique benefits package including Personal Accident insurance. As the membership grows the number and value of benefits will increase. 2. At present I am a NVL player, how would this new scheme affect me? In essence, the new scheme will affect you very little. You would pay a fee to Volleyball England, similar to your current level, and receive an exclusive benefits package which will constantly be reviewed and improved on. 3. At present I am a referee how would this new scheme affect me? In essence, the new scheme will affect you very little. You would pay a fee to Volleyball England, similar to your current level, and receive an exclusive benefits package which will constantly be reviewed and improved on. 4. At present I am a coach how would this new scheme affect me? In essence, the new scheme will affect you very little. You would pay a fee to Volleyball England, similar to your current level, and receive an exclusive benefits package which will constantly be reviewed and improved on. 5. Why does Volleyball England want to change from the current system to individual registrations? To enhance the service provided in a variety of ways: • So that we can improve the way we communicate with participants and members. This is a service that many have requested. • The current system relates to the club or team and not to individual participants involved in the sport. • Volleyball England has few details about those participating in volleyball and cannot take their needs into consideration when developing the sport. Volleyball England fees are often combined with club fees and the element that goes to volleyball is often not known by the individual player. • The current system does not provide accurate numbers or details of those that are affiliated to Volleyball England which is needed to report on participation in volleyball. This may affect funding decisions in the future. 6. How would Individual fees improve matters? A new system will: • Relate directly to the individual and not the club. • Enable direct two-way communication between Volleyball England and its participants. • Provide a sense of ‘belonging’ to the volleyball community as a whole. • Provide more accurate information on those playing, which would allow tailoring of and improvement of services to suit the members. • Increase the investment to grassroots programmes.

• Improve commercial and media opportunities within the sport. 7. What are the principles of the proposed new system? • A club fee. • Participant registration fee. In addition, participants would pay a “top up” fee depending on their level and type of involvement in the game. These will include: • NVL Licence; Coach Licence; Referee Licence. There will be concessionary fees for: • OAPs; Students in full time education; Those aged under 18 years; Those aged under 12 years. 8. What is the current thinking on actual prices individuals will need to pay? The current fees being looked at are as follows:

Club fee Adult Student U18 OAP


Club fee £10 Individual Fee £10 £5 £5 £2 Participants would pay additional “top up” fees depending on their level and type of involvement in the game NVL License +£20 +£25 +£15 NA Coach License +£25 +£30 +£30 N/A Referee License +£25 +£13.50 +£13.50 N/A

*Clubs would have to pay a minimum fee. (This will be based on 1 x club fee and 8 x adult registrations = £90 (This is equivalent to the current club fee)

9. What if I play in more than one league? You would pay one membership fee to Volleyball England. Your Volleyball England fee would allow you to play in any affiliated regional league or lower. You would continue to pay league fees on top of this. 10. Why should I register, I see few benefits to joining Volleyball England playing as a local league player, playing once a week? Volleyball England provides the structure for the sport in England, and campaigns on behalf of all volleyball players. By registering, your views and ideas are heard and you can make a difference and support efforts to improve the game. Our influence with partners including commercial and media, will come from the strength of our members and all those that play the game we love. 11. How will I be able to register? Through Volleyball England’s online membership system. • Players will be able to register directly by logging on to the system and registering their details. Alternatively, club secretaries can manage the process in a similar way. • Volleyball England will share your personal data with regions and for the purpose of your participation in volleyball, subject to suitable Data Protection procedures.

• Access to monthly e-newsletter with the latest volleyball news & views. • Discount on items from Volleyball England’s shop including coaching resources and merchandise. • Access to coaching, playing and refereeing seminars and webinars. • Priority access and discounts on event tickets. • Access to exclusive Members Competitions and Prizes. • Fantastic Partner Discounts including reduced prices on hotels, first aid equipment, coaching books, physiotherapy and lots more! 13. What benefits does my club receive? Clubs will receive: • £5 million Public Liability Insurance. • Right to enter official Volleyball England competitions and tournaments. • Support from Volleyball England staff to develop your club, access funding, improve your coaching and refereeing skills. • Free marketing workshops and materials including posters and flyers. • Free Volleyball England CRB Checks. • Discounted rate at the National Volleyball Centre. 14. How would the insurance work and how would it benefit me? Currently clubs receive Public Liability Insurance as part of the club membership and this would remain. Personal Accident insurance, which most Leagues and clubs do not provide, would be provided to all registered participants. 15. How would the new system affect voting rights? Voting rights would not change as part of the current proposals and would remain with the clubs. 16. How and when would the new system be introduced? Proposals will be put forward to the EGM on 10th November 2012, if accepted the new system would come into effect for the 2013/14 season. 17. How can my views be heard and do I have a vote? You can make your views known to your club representative, who can vote for your club at the EGM in November 2012. 18. What would stop Volleyball England putting up charges once this system is in place? The level of fees would only be changed at an AGM. Fees would be controlled in the same way as current affiliation fees at an AGM by those clubs present with a vote.

19. What would happen to me if I do not want to join but still want to play? You would still be able to play but not in a league operated by an affiliated region or area association, a Volleyball England organised 12. What benefits will I receive? event or in matches against an affiliated All individual participants will receive a fantastic club, although we would of course hope that range of benefits and discounts. you would join to enjoy the benefits of These will include: membership. The principle of the new system is • Personal Accident Insurance. that all individuals need to be registered • Exclusive members section on website. with Volleyball England to play at all levels of • Exclusive free members’ magazine - 3Touch the game. Volleyball Magazine.


DAVE GOODCHILD By Kirsty Meynell

The driving force behind Team Northumbria’s Super 8 success, Dave Goodchild talks Team GB and the way forward… It’s been quite a year for coach Dave Goodchild. In April came Team Northumbria women’s Super 8 league win against all the odds – a team he has been coaching for the past two years. And then in August, despite receiving no funding, the GB Women’s team took 9th position at London 2012 after beating 15th ranked Algeria. Assistant Coach Goodchild is a proud man. “Working with these players for the past three years, and every day for the past five months, you can see how good they are. These are special athletes that have worked so hard to achieve their goals.”

And what of Goodchild’s own Olympic experience? “The food hall in the players’ village was amazing,” he quips, “but if I was to take one memory away with me it would be of watching the women enter the court to a standing ovation and beating Algeria. A truly breathtaking moment and a memory that will last forever.” Goodchild is quick to praise the GB team, describing the players and staff as some of the best people he has ever met. Special mention does, of course, go to Audrey Cooper, Head Coach of the GB women and his Assistant Coach at Team Northumbria. “Whilst our roles were reversed from Northumbria to the GB team, Audrey and I get on very well on and off court and think alike. We had worked together for 18 months before the Olympics and we know each other and our ways of working very well. We can spend hours chatting about the opposition and what we need to do to beat them. At GB, my role was to supply information regarding the opposition block and defence and to identify where easy points can be scored. Audrey performs this role for Team Northumbria. It’s a great partnership” It’s clear that Goodchild holds Cooper in incredibly high regard, citing her as his


photograph©BM Totterdell

Dave Goodchild offers instruction from the sideline during one of the GB women’s matches at Earls Court, London 2012

Good Things About Goodchild:

He’s played football at Wembley In 1997 Goodchild made his Wembley appearance for Whitby Town in the FA Vase Final where The Seasiders secured a 3-0 victory against North Ferribly United. A newspaper report after the game read ‘Goodchild, 21, produced a composed performance at the heart of the defence.’

Dave GoodChild (pictured second from right) with the GB Women’s team at Earls Court, London 2012

coaching inspiration and role model due to her attention to detail and knowledge. These are attributes that he also holds in high regard amongst his players. When asked what advice he would give to aspiring international players he says, “any player wanting to play for GB must be highly dedicated and have the grit and determination to succeed. This requires attention to detail and consistency in all aspects of the game, from mental and physical toughness to tactical and technical skill.”

British players are able to play professionally in the UK at the right level to compete with the world’s top teams.” Goodchild has also recently launched a Satellite Academy to support the development of junior players and is keen to see more similar development in the 16-18 year old age group. “Northumbria University offers a great sports scholarship programme and, with a top award of £10,000, is currently the best place to learn or develop volleyball talent. But this type of programme is definitely something that, with the right

“Working with these players for the past 3 years, and every day for the past 5 months, you can see how good they are. These are special athletes that have worked so hard to achieve their goals.” So what does the future hold for Team GB Women? The truth is that we won’t know until December of this year. All bids for funding were submitted in September and decisions will be taken as to the way forward before the end of 2012. But Goodchild remains positive: “It’s not an ideal situation – it would be great to be able to capitalise on the momentum gained from the Games but we are where we are and overall, development of the sport is heading in the right direction.”

And what is that right direction? “In an ideal world, the GB squad would be a professional team in its own right, competing against the best teams in the world on a regular basis – not unlike a volleyball version of cycling’s Team Sky. But short of that, we need to increase and maintain an international standard of play so that our

staffing could, and should, be leveraged at other universities – full-time, universitylevel, programmes are going to be essential in continuing the work that the College Academies are doing and improving the level of play in the UK.” And the proof of the success of the development programme at Team Northumbria can be seen in the results with the women’s team winning last seasons’ Super 8s title and the men’s team making the semi-finals. Whilst Goodchild is looking to win the quadruple, the league and cup double for the men’s and women’s teams, he also recognises that with good recruitment of International and Olympic athletes by Malory Eagles and London Polonia, Team Northumbria’s strongest challengers, this is likely to be the teams’ toughest ever season.

He looks forward to the big games Team Northumbria’s men and women have got some tough competition this season – but Goodchild hopes his players can come up with the goods when it matters. “TN’s ones to watch this season would be Emmy Blouin and Whitney Phillips, and in the men’s team Andy Sinclair and Olympian Pete Bakare are in good form.”

He puts the team through their paces Goodchild works the teams hard in training and believes that hard work really pays-off. With TN’s track record who would argue?! Goodchild’s favourite training drill is to “get the setter creating free nets for the offence to score (so many).”

He’s got a good taste in music

Goodchild always like to listen to music before a game to get himself focused and psyched up for the action. “Thanks to Matt Bianco my pre-match favourite has to be – Swedish House Mafia.”

He admires sporting greats When asked which celebrity personality Dave would like to invite for dinner, he said, “David Beckham. As a footballer I really admire what Beckham has achieved and what he continues to do both on and off the field.”

He would be okay on a desert island Goodchild would make sure he has his family and friends around him while staying in touch with the modern world. When asked what he’d take to a desert island he responded, “definitely my family and friends, satellite TV and my mobile phone!” Let’s just hope you have good signal Dave!




An interview with London 2012 Volleyball Manager, Bob Clarke by Tim Griffiths


, Prior to working for LOCOG, Bob had been the competition manager for beach volleyball at the Atlanta Games and then went on to work for the Goodwill Games and FIVB. 3Touch caught up with Bob shortly after the Paralympics had drawn to a conclusion to find out how it had all gone.

When you first started working for LOCOG in 2009 what did you think would be your biggest challenge? My biggest challenge within LOCOG was convincing everyone just how big a global Olympic sport volleyball is and trying to get everyone to understand the scale of the task we were undertaking. The flip side was convincing the FIVB that there was substantial volleyball activity being undertaken in the UK and that it would be embraced by the British. Because there weren’t many international level teams coming out of the UK, they weren’t sure if volleyball was even played over here so I had to convince them that we would be welcomed and boy were we!

How did you find your previous involvement in the Olympics in Atlanta? Atlanta was fun because it was the first time beach volleyball had been part of the games therefore there was no pattern to follow and no one telling me what should and shouldn’t be done. We did everything at pretty short notice coming quite late into the Olympic programme but were one of the first events to sell out.

For you, what made the London Games unique? The Spectators across the piece were first class. London as a city itself really made the Games for me. London is such a unique city it is second only to New York in the level of


Bob Clarke posing with London 2012 mascots

diversity and mix of its population. Being sold out from sessions 1-42 was a great achievement.

How would you assess the contribution Team GB made to the Games? Team GB did brilliantly, especially considering how they were such young teams in terms of how long they had been performing on the international stage. All the participants really stepped up to the plate and were fantastic. The format played into their hands to some extent which then also helped to enthuse the crowd.

How did you find working with the volunteers and workforce from London? I can’t say enough good things about a

brilliant team who were great to work with. Volleyball England needs to take a lot of the credit for this. Through Richard Callicottt and the NTO programme in particular we managed to set up a database of volunteers ready to integrate with the Games Maker programme when it fired up. When it came to it they all performed to a gold medal standard, which gave me great pleasure.

What was your highlight of the Games themselves - do you have a particular day or moment that was your favourite? Getting the first serve over on the first day on time and all going well was a favourite moment, but mainly out of a sense of relief! On the beach having a new nation on the top of the podium (the German men’s pair) was particularly pleasing. But seeing Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh take their third consecutive Olympic title was a pretty special moment, both as an American and from a volleyball perspective as it’s an achievement which may never be repeated. Brazil versus Russia in the indoor final will certainly be up there in terms of the best Olympic finals ever. In the Paralympics seeing the Rwandan team winning their last match was like their gold medal, you wouldn’t often get so excited about 9th/10th place but that was also a pretty special moment.

What advice would you give to whoever is in charge of delivering Volleyball in Rio? Workforce, Workforce, Workforce! Get that right and the rest will flow from there. Make sure you get the engagement of the local federation and be proactive within the wider Games organising committee – sort out getting what you need from the organisation. I feel we raised the bar from the sporting perspective across all three volleyball disciplines so they have a hard act to follow.

Looking back, what would you say the greatest legacy of volleyball from the Atlanta Games was? We built on the pro tours presentation of the sport and set the standard for the next

Olympic competitions. There is also a great people legacy, many of the people who I worked with in Atlanta were involved in London in one way or another which was great to see and I hope this carries on into the future.

The country will see many new participants come to the sport, to those already involved in volleyball, what advice would you give them to help make the most of the buzz generated by the Games? Getting people involved is key; the Go Spike campaign is a great initiative to do this. Build on the simplicity of beach volleyball, the new facilities will definitely help this. Beach volleyball presents a great opportunity for smaller and less developed national governing bodies as they only need two elite level players and therefore the costs are a lot lower and they can gain experience on the various tours out there easily. After all the British team qualified for Atlanta so there is no reason why they couldn’t qualify again.

And what would you say to those inspired to take up the sport for the first time?

learned from volleyball are invaluable and can be used in all walks of life. It’s also great that you can play at any level and compete and enjoy yourself.

In your opinion what is next for Volleyball in England and what are the biggest challenges Volleyball England will face? Ride the wave and take advantage, build and grow the game at every level. The UK has had a jump start with close to one million spectators experiencing a form of volleyball live, probably for the first time. All will have had a positive experience so get in their faces and use more opportunities to get volleyball out there.

On a personal level, what is next for Bob Clarke? I hope to stay in the sport in some form, I have my whole adult life, and can’t see that changing.

And finally, if you could sum up your experience of London 2012 in a sentence… The Best Ever Olympic and Paralympic Games, period.

The team ethic and life lessons that can be photograph©BM Totterdell

Bob Clarke being interviewed at the Beach Volleyball Test Event in 2011, Horse Guards Parade



By Tim Griffiths

THE OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES WERE A THRILLING RIDE OF ACTION AND EMOTION. BUT WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO ACTUALLY BE AN ATHLETE RIGHT AT THE HEART OF IT? 3TOUCH CAUGHT UP WITH THREE OF THE STARS OF GB VOLLEYBALL; OLYMPIANS ZARA DAMPNEY (ZD) AND DAN HUNTER (DH) AND PARALYMPIAN EMMA WIGGS (EW) TO GIVE US THEIR PERSPECTIVE ON WHAT LIFE WAS LIKE AT ‘THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH’. 3T: How did you find the preparation period leading up to the Games? Were you nervous? EW: The last 2 years have been a roller coaster of nerves, excitement and goose bumps! I left my job in March to train full time so it then all began to feel very real. DH: I was nervous and excited. The whole team and I had been working very hard over many years for the London Olympics. 3T: How would you describe your time on court? ZD: It was amazing and loads of fun, I knew we had worked really hard to get there so we wanted to relax and enjoy the experience. EW: The feeling when I wheeled out into that incredible arena will live with me forever. It showed me that dreams really can come true and I was really pleased that we competed with the best teams in the world. DH: I think as a team we showed a level of volleyball that we haven’t had in this country before and I think we played our best games against Italy and Poland, two teams that have been playing at the highest level for many years and have such strong home national leagues. 3T: What was it like being in the venue under the bright lights? How did you find the London crowds? EW: The ExCel was just the most amazing venue. Being a multi-sport arena meant it brought thousands of spectators to our sport and they were all home fans! I loved the lights and I just loved performing and thriving on the home crowds support. I’ve never seen so


photograph©BM Totterdell

Emma Wiggs celebrates a point against the Netherlands at the ExCel Centre many “Go Wiggsy” banners in all my life!! DH: Earls Court was incredible. A 15,000 seater stadium, packed to the rafters for volleyball in the UK is something I will remember for the rest of my life. The noise from the home crowd was incredible, despite the Polish fans trying to raise the roof! It’s such a shame we won’t be able to play there again! ZD: We are very lucky to have been given that venue (Horse Guards Parade) and it was great for the sport. 3T: How did you find the support

you received from the staff and volunteers?

ZD: Really helpful all of the time, whenever we arrived at the venue or were training they made us feel really special!! DH:The volunteers at the Olympics were amazing; they made the Games run smoothly!

Zara D am p


in a





EW: All of the Games Makers were incredible. I know how long their days were and how hard they worked every hour so it’s true to say that they did in fact ‘make the games’! I met a Games Maker in the village who stood out; he was so thrilled to be there and wouldn’t stop thanking me for inspiring him. It was very humbling and we were both quite emotional sitting on that bench in the park!

How did you find spending so much time at such close quarters with each other? 3T:

ZD: Shauna and I are used to it. For the last 5 years we have been in each others pockets so we have strategies to deal with it, for example we set time apart from each other and don’t talk at certain times of the day!! We don’t get offended! EW: My room mate made it bearable, so thanks to Andrea Green!! We hadn’t roomed together before but she was brilliant and we both fed off each other and knew when the other needed a bad joke or a coffee to pick them up but it was great to be able to share the experience with her. Sam Bowen is always guaranteed to make you laugh with an inappropriate innocent comment or her infectious giggle!

se Gu ar

ds Pa r

ad e

3T: Being an Athlete at the Games you must have bumped into some famous faces over the course of the Games, did you share a lift with anyone famous? DH: During my first week in the Games I was called for a Doping Control Test, where I met Andy Murray who was just leaving the Doping Control Centre! ZD: I was always in the lift with Chris Hoy! I actually don’t know how it always happened, but we had a joke about it!

Dan Hu nte r

en co u

Volleyball pin for their Koala bears! 3T: What was your overall

highlight of the Games? What made it so special? DH: Playing Great Britain vs. Poland. The mix of home crowd supporters and Polish fans made an incredible atmosphere. EW: Wheeling out for the first match. The noise, the smell of the arena and knowing that all 8,000 people in the crowd were cheering for us was absolutely incredible. I knew that all those tough choices over the last two years were worth it. ZD: Playing on centre court with all our friends and family there to support us and of course the electric atmosphere.

In your opinion what should be done to build on the momentum generated by London 2012? Are you doing anything in particular to contribute towards the legacy? 3T:

ZD: I think it will help grow volleyball in this country and can be a spring board if the right things are put in place, at least people know beach volleyball is an exciting sport now. DH: We need to increase the quality and the amount of training our junior players are given so that it matches other top level volleyball countries. This will not only help develop our own national leagues, but it will help to develop special players that could help the GB team to qualify for another Olympics in future years. EW: I really believe that the honour of wearing a GB tracksuit gives us a responsibility to promote disability sport at every level. I have already done talks and practical sessions to over 6,000 children this year and I will continue to spread the word!

Earls Court es at mat eam is t sh ge ra

EW: I think Julie Rogers was star struck to the point of tears when we met Tom Daley on the GB Parade! It is very surreal being in the dining room next to greats like Ellie Simmonds, Tom Aggar and Oscar Pistorius!

3T: And finally, what’s next for you?

What was the best item of kit you were given during the games?

ZD: I am taking a break in the form of a holiday with my fiancé and will then decide what I want to do in the future.


EW: The Ipod from BMW proved popular, Andrea and I swapped colours with Hannah Cockcroft and her room mate… so we take full credit for her gold medals!

EW: I’m sat in the airport doing this interview on my way to Borneo for a post Paralympic holiday!

DH: Ben Pipes and I have joined my former club Wessex. There is great ambition and direction at the club and our main goal is to earn promotion into the Super 8s.

ZD: We got a Team GB dressing gown which I love as it’s so cosy and has amazing embroidery! DH: The kitting out experience at Loughborough was an amazing day all athletes will remember. Something that stands out for me is when we played Australia, instead of swapping the countries pin before the game - we swapped our British photograph©BM Totterdell


USA’s Miller dives for the ball

Brazil’s Rogrigues in action against USA in the women’s final

Sabahudin Delalic of Bosnia and Herzegovina sets the ball in the men’s final

Russia collect their gold medal after an epic win over Brazil

USA’s Kerri Walsh celebrates her third Olympic gold medal


China’s Zhang in action against USA in the women’s gold medal match

Russia face the Brazilian block


photograph©BM Totterdell

Iconic Olympic beach volleyball venue, Horse Guards Parade

Yeon-Koung Kim of Korea in action

Noisy support for Brazil

Moroccan sitting volleyball supporter

phers jostle for position at Paralympic sitting volleyball

Voted as winner of the Volleyball England photo competition on Facebook – taken by Harry Kenney-Herbert

Photographers line the court at Olympic beach volleyball

photographŠBM Totterdell

19 Support for GB Volleyball at Earls Court

Olympic volleyball statistics team hard at work in the background

Iranian sitting volleyball supporters

Paralympic Line Mark focusing on the task

Olympic beach volleyball Games Makers in action “Thank You London” from the Brazilian supporters

Courtside Assistant at Earls Court

Packed out beach volleyball venue


photograph©BM Totterdell

GB women walk on for their Olympic debut against Russia

GB’s Nicole Hill in action

GB sitting volleyball men celebrate a straight sets victory over Morocco GB’s Mark Mcgivern attacks the Bulgarian block

GB captain Ben Pipes in action

GB’s Munroe blocks against Iran

GB’s Shauna Mullins

GB’s Lucy Wicks joust against Russia

Dampney and Mullins celebrate their first Olympic victory

GB’s Michel and Sandell in action against Algeria

GB’s Netra Rana defends GB’s Garcia-Thompson in action

photograph©BM Totterdell


Gerard (far left) together with some of the Field of Play Games Makers behind the table of the Earls Court press room.

Games maker By Gerard Van Zwieten

“Congratulations! Following your interview to be a London 2012 Games Maker, we are delighted to inform you that we would like to offer you a role in the Volleyball team at the Olympic Games!” 29th July 2011 Following a lengthy vetting process and final interview in London during March 2011 for the Games Maker role, these were the exhilarating words that confirmed I was accepted as one of the 70,000 Games Makers for London 2012.

Hundreds of tasks were allocated and completed and with Matt always calm and collected we knew we were ready to give our all on 27 July. It had been tremendously hard work but the whole team felt proud of the achievements of our labour.

As a member of the Field of Play Team for Indoor Volleyball at Earls Court, I had the unique opportunity to be part of the Olympics and Olympic family and also to be close to the athletes.

During the Games the FOP team, as we were called on our accreditation ID’s, were responsible for everything related to the matches and Field of Play areas. We had responsibility for a variety of tasks including; the smooth running of warm-up courts, centre court and the holding tunnel where players were assembled prior to matches. We also looked after the match table, the net, the posts, amongst many other responsibilities.

Under the inspiring leadership of Stewart Dunne, Matt Rogers, Gemma Nunnerley and Steve Evans, one of our first Olympic duties, in the build up to the Games was to roll out hundreds of metres of Taraflex flooring for the warm-up courts and centre court, assisting the specialised company that had won the contract for London 2012. We practised numerous times (and got it down to a fine art!) the rapid replacement of nets and posts in readiness for this eventuality during the Games. We folded, unfolded and assembled all the boarding surrounding the courts, memorised health and safety routines until we could recite them in our sleep and practised the victory ceremony - sneakily keeping the GB flag on top of course!


My key role at Earls Court was Team/Shift Leader Field of Play Marshall. One of my major tasks was enforcing strict adherence to “Rule 50” - ensuring that advertising, logos, clothing or any other sporting equipment complied with designated Olympic guidelines. With this came my most amusing Olympic moments. The majority of professional women volleyball players nowadays wear long sports socks and often the brand logo is visible on both the inside as well as the outside of the socks. Rule 50 clearly states that the logo can only be visible once. And

on one occasion I had the task of conveying this to the Chinese team. Now, my Chinese is certainly no better than their English and I feared trying to explain the rule to the team! The solution was to take a big roll of white tape, kneel down at their feet and tape over one logo on each sock! My colleagues obviously found this hilarious but I am pleased to confirm after the exercise that the Chinese women athletes’ legs are well trained and super fit! Together with the Athletes Services Team, we made sure athletes arrived punctually at the warm-up courts and lined up on time in the holding tunnel in readiness to enter centre court, where they were greeted daily by an amazingly sporty and enthusiastic crowd. We’re all familiar with the noise a supportive crowd can generate but the Earls Court spectators were incredible. As soon as the athletes came out of the tunnel, their first glances were towards the erupting stands of the arena; all so patriotic with their colourful dress, flags and banners. The Brazilian Samba outfits, were a sight to behold and, in my view, the most colourful and outstanding of all. My most memorable experiences, however, were the matches themselves. The game has become so fast and athletic, with men’s

serves now easily reaching 80-100 km per hour and women’s teams like the USA and Brazil being able to instantly change their attack line during the game from opposite to outside to middle, often without making a substitute for a different player.

Gerard poses with a ball during the build-up at the build During up at Earls Court prior Earls Court to the Games

Specific receiving liberos and defending liberos, setters with hands so well hidden and with such amazing accuracy that defence at the opposite block is often too late. The athletes overall have incredible physical strength and body condition. I’m not the shortest of people myself, at 6’ 6”, but I often felt short, looking up at athletes at 6’ 9” or even 7’ 2”! Don’t let this disappoint you if you are smaller, however, as in defence it’s more about agility, balance and coordination than height.

diary The men’s gold medal match between Brazil and final winner Russia was, in my view, a game I’d like to keep on my hard disk forever! The third set saw Russia 5 points down at some stage, but they came back, saving set point after set point and finally took the set at 29-27… Volleyball I will never forget! Personally, I can’t forget that match anyway as by that time in the tournament I’d had

“The third set saw Russia five points down but they came back, saving set point after set point and finally took the set 29-27 volleyball I will never forget!” the pleasure of getting to know Bernardo Rezende, the Brazilian coach. While his team were warming up for the semis, he promised to give me his signed shirt if Brazil qualified for the final. He was so delighted with the service he had received from the Games Makers and wanted to mark his appreciation. After they sadly lost, I thought he may have forgotten and seeing how disillusioned he was, I didn’t want to remind him. To my amazement, he came through the tunnel shortly after the match with his shirt in his hand, duly signed and still wet from the gruelling contest! In spite of his entire disappointment, he didn’t forget his promise!

A true professional and someone I can always regard as an “Olympic friend”. Someone asked me after the Games whether London 2012 had impacted on me as a coach. In my role as CDC (Community Development Coach) for Volleyball England and Leicestershire/Rutland, I would definitely say yes. In late September we held a University Fresher’s Fair in Derbyshire where 92 new students showed interest in volleyball and the following week 54 people turned up for a coaching taster session. We also ran a Paralympic taster session for kids with a disability and, together with other sports like wheelchair basketball, we ended up with 80 players. It showed how the media around the London Games has been our best ambassador for generating new interest in our sport. In my opinion, we should constantly spread the word to our young people over and over again that volleyball is the sport to be in! We offer great coaches, competitions in all formats, clubs that are willing to take on juniors and, above all, hundreds of volunteers from our volunteer programs. These volunteers tirelessly deliver sessions week in, week out. Sessions that freely offer indoor, outdoor, beach and sitting volleyball with great enthusiasm and skill.

2012 would inspire the whole nation, I couldn’t have agreed more. There is a buzz in our office at Volleyball England as we continue to be inspired by the daily increase in interest surrounding the sport. Both young and old asking where they can play volleyball, clubs asking how to enter the National League and recreational clubs seeing their weekly numbers growing and proudly relaying these numbers to us. It is certainly a challenge for us to keep this momentum going and to offer all these people a return on their high expectations. I think all my colleagues and I in the national CDC network, and elsewhere within Volleyball England can make this promise - that we will rise to this challenge! We are often asked what will be the legacy of the London 2012 Games and my response is that the legacy is in the future, where we see Team GB improving and succeeding in volleyball as we begin to compete in Europe and worldwide at a high level. You may find my views subjective but if I was a junior again - which is unfortunately too long ago - I would definitely consider a volleyball career now and fulfil the dream to become part of Team GB’s wonderful sporting future – that’s a great legacy!

When Lord Seb Coe promised that London


Nerves of steel and a heart of gold – Damien Searle talks about his Olympic experience and his hopes for the future.


SEARLE By Kirsty Meynell


both good and bad. The crowds were most disappointing - a lot of empty seats, despite the fantastic stadium. London was just special – a fantastic venue and a lot of hard work. From the moment London won the Olympics, the majority of my annual leave was used on attending tournaments and even our family planning was based around the Olympics.”

The experience of such different Games proved invaluable for Searle and Greg Thompson as home referees – taking it upon themselves to provide the information they felt had been missing previously – they sent a series of emails to all the referees telling them what to expect and helping them and

“Rulers learn the rules by heart and implement them. Gamers rely on a feeling for the game from their years as players and react accordingly. I’m a Gamer.” is the equivalent of a World Tour final but Damien Searle, 2nd Referee for the Men’s Gold Medal match, describes that first match as his favourite memory of the Games. The culmination of all the hard work and sacrifice by Searle and his fellow officials leading up to London 2012, this match was important. “The officials’ performance in this match, and my performance in particular, would set the tone for the rest of the Games. Fortunately, I had a really good match,” he explains. Born in Australia to British parents, Searle’s first international officiating duty came in his home country of Australia in the Sydney Games in 2000 as a linesman. He then qualified as an international referee in 2003 and has represented Great Britain on the international beach volleyball stage ever since. “Sydney 2000 was amazing - in the country I was born in, on the world famous Bondi Beach, each session was a 10,000 sell-out and the Aussie women won Gold! Beijing was hot, 35 degrees with 80-90% humidity and there were big cultural differences,


photograph©BM Totterdell

their families to enjoy the Games. “We even arranged a picnic for all the referees and NTOs (scorers and line judges) so that they could all get to know each other. The home referees in Rio have a lot to live up to. But it is, as they say, these little things that make the difference and this is a philosophy that Searle extends to his preparation leading up to refereeing an event. “It’s a challenging and pressurised job where everyone has an opinion and it’s vital to put yourself in the best position to make the right call – and that can be as simple as making sure you get enough rest, and eat and drink the right things.” The challenge of refereeing is, however, something that Searle takes in his stride. “As officials we need to accept that not every decision we make is right, despite our best efforts. When you know you’ve made a wrong call it’s better to correct it and replay the point where necessary than to stick to that incorrect call. It’s a question of confidence and trust in yourself – it’s important to remember that you only have one angle or

view on something and others may have better angles than yours.”

His experience as a player is certainly something that he considers central to his skill as a referee. “There are ‘Rulers’ and there are ‘Gamers’” he explains. “Rulers learn the rules by heart and implement them. Gamers rely on a feeling for the game from their years as players and react accordingly. I’m a Gamer.” So what advice would Searle give to aspiring beach volleyball officials? “There’s a lot of sacrifice – expenses, time off work, time away from family – but those of us who do it do so because we love the game and we want to be involved. Learning the game, playing it and understanding the tactics and techniques that players use, both legal and illegal, will put you in the best position to enjoy it and do the best possible job. Watch other officials and ask a lot of questions. Who knows – in four years’ time, it could be you.” But in four years’ time what might have changed? It was only 10 years ago that play moved from side out to rally scoring and whilst more spectator friendly, this has been a move that has placed more pressure on the referees. Every point matters and one decision is equivalent to two points – taking from one team and giving to the other. This is especially pressured when statistics show that around 70% of all sets are decided by just 2 points. Line judging technology is unlikely to find its way from volleyball to the beach but as the FIVB continue with their process of more closely aligning the rules of the indoor and beach games we could still see changes in the beach volleyball rulebook. Something that Searle is approaching with a certain amount of trepidation. “I just hope that the character of beach volleyball doesn’t get lost in the changes. It was this character and lack of formality which attracted me to the sport in the first place.”

Sea rle lea ds t

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t ee fer t re i rs sf sa os

en’s Treanor/Walsh vs. Cico wom lari/ the M for e neg att i q ua rte rf i

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Damien Searle’s Top Olympic picks: Best Hotel: London – no shared rooms and a pleasant 20 minute walk through Green Park, past Buckingham Palace and through St James Park to the venue – classic London. Best back-of-house: Beijing Best Location: Tie between Sydney and London Best Stadium: London – Horse Guard’s parade deserves special mention as you can’t get past that backdrop. 15,000 seats right next to No. 10 Downing Street with views over to the London Eye and Big Ben. Best stadium entertainment: Sydney - the stadium announcers, colour commentators and the DJ really had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hand.

Searle takes the referee’s stand as USA’s Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings take on Italy’s Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti in their quarter final match

photograph©BM Totterdell


A close up of London 2012 from the photographers angle... AS A SPECIALIST VOLLEYBALL PHOTOGRAPHER, BARBARA TOTTERDELL’S LONDON 2012 JOURNEY STARTED IN SEPTEMBER 2011 AFTER RECEIVING ACCREDITATION FOR THE OLYMPIC AND PARALYMPIC GAMES. HERE BARBARA GIVES HER ACCOUNT OF WHAT IT WAS LIKE TO BE A PHOTOGRAPHER AT THE GAMES… In 2010 Photographic Chief, Bob Martin, and a small staff were appointed by LOCOG. They combined their experience to locate and negotiate positions for photographers at all the Olympic and Paralympic Sports’ venues and events balancing the photographers’ needs with ticketing, safety, broadcast requirements etc. Photographers were to be found in hides, in dugouts, in boats and in lorries. Detailed handbooks were available for all the media giving information on all the venues as well as details on travel between. In the three volleyball venues, Earls Court (indoor volleyball), Horse Guards (beach volleyball) and Excel (sitting volleyball) photographers had access to three sides of the court on benches around the field of play. Line of sight for the public and officials was a problem at the sitting volleyball and it was here that access to the action for photographers was slightly more difficult. A common phenomenon at all three venues was the background for photographers from the side was towards the often empty reserved seats for the Olympic and Paralympic family, their guests and the press tribune. Volleyball organisers to their credit especially at the beach venue solved this over the week by allowing members of the public, volunteers and the army into those seats. All the venues had positions above the court. In Horse Guards there was a view over the rooftops of Westminster, not as iconic as at the London Prepares Series with its smaller stands and views to all of the old buildings surrounding Horse Guards but gave a good feel for the 15,000 crowd. Earls Court is an old Victorian building with many pillars obstructing full views on the side but as in all the sport venues, we were allowed to use unused seating until the ticket holders arrived. Several photographers and staff counted the 126 steps up 8 flights of concrete stairs to the photographers’ high spot at the top of Earl’s Court - it was lovely coming


photograph©BM Totterdell

down and fitness levels of photographers doubtless improved. Another fitness aid was travelling on the old District and Circle Lines with heavy equipment and stairs in stations between Earls Court and Horse Guards.

“An awful lot of lovin’ going on here.” The higher positions gave strong, generic images but without the crowd and atmosphere - these generic images are likely to be volleyball’s diet in the newspapers for the next 4 years!  I worked to get images against crowds to showcase the events. The crowds were wonderful be-it the fun loving Brazilians, organised Japanese and Iranians getting behind their teams or the very vocal, partisan Polish supporters countered by the very strong GB crowd. People had come to enjoy the sport and themselves and it showed. The media usually had their own media entrances into venues through Personal Screening Area smoothly run by the Army at Horse Guards and Earls Court and by helpful security staff at Excel. Each venue had the day’s programme and results information, internet access bought in various packages and were where the Photo Managers with their deputies, all with photographic backgrounds, and the Photo Staff were based. They worked to help the media to get the best photographs and guided photographers to positions between the action. Photo briefings were

Olympic beach volleyball photographers line the court in preparation for the final


held for all photographers at the Main Media Centre before the start of the Olympics and Paralympics and also at the venues by the Photo Managers, informing of access to positions, of any changes and the detail of access to the medal ceremonies.

Journalists and photographers came from all corners of the globe with strong contingents from Italy, Japan and Brazil. There are a few specialist volleyball photographers and some I have met at international events in Europe over the years. Danielle Tarantini, an Italian photographer I first met in 1998 where she told me very succinctly in Italian what she thought of the light levels that year; I, a non Italian speaker, knew exactly what she was saying. With the strong interest in volleyball in the Italian press, London 2012

was Danielle’s 5th Olympics, with the paucity of interest in the media here for many of the Olympic sports, London was my first. It was interesting to observe and listen to the more general photographers with less knowledge of the sport but the beach court was perhaps the most interesting. Long lenses have their place but those arriving court side at the women’s beach final made me curious. As the match began and each lens pointed up to the VIP seating their intention became clear and was confirmed by a muttering of ‘he’s here’. ‘He’ was Prince Harry but the papers the following day showed that the lenses found little to show of Harry but two unfortunate GB cyclists had their affair ‘outed’.  After the beach bronze match the Brazilians,

Ricardo Santos dives for the ball against German pairing Jonas Reckermann and Julius Brink in the men’s quarter finals

By Barbara Totterdell

D THELENS Larissa - Juliana, and after their gold medal win, USA’s May Treanor - Walsh did what beach volleyball players often do and climbed into the stands to hug family, friends and coaches. As they raced round the court,

on here.”

Meanwhile at Earls Court the Olympic Gold medallists, Brazil Women’s Team and staff showed a natural ability to celebrate and

talk. The crowd too were friendly, one lone Moroccan gentleman with a large flag got tired of cheering on his own and appealed to the crowd in his area ‘to give me a hand here’ and they did. These are perhaps

“The crowds were wonderful be-it the fun loving Brazilians, organised Japanese and Iranians getting behind their teams or the very vocal, partisan Polish supporters countered by the very strong GB crowd.” they were chased at equal speed by a crowd of male photographers. At the beach medal ceremony, athletes who know each other very well having competed against each other on the FIVB Beach World Tour for many years, congratulated each other with hugs. This went on for a little while and a voice from the ‘pack’ mumbled, “An awful lot of lovin’ going

an equal ability to provide the poses for the press cameras. The sitting volleyball was marked by the friendliness between coaches, players and officials that has been a hallmark of international sitting volleyball. The medallists mingled after the ceremonies to congratulate each other and

the moments set against a background of some superb action that made the events so enjoyable…and of course those winning moments big and small for the GB teams against a background of solid, enthusiastic, flag waving supporters enjoying the volleyball and the event.

photograph©BM Totterdell


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3Touch November  

Volleyball England's Official Magazine

3Touch November  

Volleyball England's Official Magazine