Surrey satellite club wins regional award

Support from Active Surrey results in growing demand for Elmbridge-based volleyball club
A Weybridge-based community sports club has been named ‘the best in the South East’ after launching a satellite volleyball club in Elmbridge. With support from Surrey’s County Sports Partnership, Active Surrey, Richmond Volleyball Club set up Heathside Volleyball Club to address a previous lack of participation in the sport and to provide a new opportunity for local, young people.

As part of its commitment to the satellite club, which was launched in January 2014, the team at Richmond has set Heathside up with an extensive training and coaching programme as more than 20 children aged between 12-16 years’ old regular attend the club to experience a new sport in a professional environment.

Active Surrey has played a key role in forging links with local schools and sports clubs as it aims to increase the number of satellite clubs across the county. Satellite clubs – the £49 million National Lottery funded Sport England initiative – are extensions, or outposts of community sports clubs which are established in a new venue, usually a secondary school or college and specifically target the 11-25 age group. Active Surrey has been working hard to ensure full commitments are made to increase sports participation across the county.

Eli Karlicka-Cook, Active Surrey Community Sports Development Manager, comments: “Previously there was no junior volleyball club in the borough and this club has addressed a local gap in provision and provided a new opportunity to local young people. We are delighted that, after months of hard work forging links between schools and sports clubs, one of Surrey’s own satellite clubs has won this high profile regional award.”

Imogen, 15, who attends the club said: “The satellite club is great fun. I have attended weekly since the club started. The coach (David) is very approachable and he makes the sessions really enjoyable. He has organised a match for us to get some competition and I hope to continue playing volleyball in the future. ”

David Rijvers, Chairman of Richmond Volleyball Club and lead coach at Heathside Volleyball club, said: “It is fantastic to win this award. We are extremely pleased to have brought volleyball to Elmbridge. The club has allowed more young people to experience volleyball and we hope the club continues to grow and flourish.”

The national Satellite Club programme aims to support community sports clubs to start up new club sessions (outside of curricula time) based in schools/colleges or other community venues, where 11 – 25 year olds will be able to access sporting opportunities easily. All young people are encouraged to attend a local satellite club, regardless of whether they attend the school/college where the satellite club is based. Satellite clubs are delivered by community sports clubs supported by the network of county sports partnerships, as well as national governing bodies of sport.