6 days of Volleyball at West London Schools
News from the clubs
London, England, May 22, 2014. A Team GB Olympian, a champion of Poland from PGE Skra BELCHATOW as well as a Volleyball England title winner are just some of the people that were encouraging students in a school in Ealing, West London, to play Volleyball.
Hundreds of children had their first real taste of Volleyball, a sport which some claim to be the national sport in Poland and in England is continually seeing an increase in popularity. “This event was only made possible through the combined efforts of Volleyball England and CBL Polonia London and I’m really pleased we were able to take part in it. Activities led by Team GB London 2012 Olympian Rachel Laybourne as well as by one of CBL Polonia’s very own athletes Alex Minchin was the realisation of a dream I’ve had for some time, to help build and develop Volleyball as a popular and mainstream sport amongst children in English and Polish schools,” Bartek Łuszcz - CBL Polonia London Vice-President says.
Each and every P.E lesson at St.Benedict’s school Ealing was focused around Volleyball with classes led by both Rachel and Alex. Students were very excited and enthusiastic that they were being coached by such experienced athletes. Many of the students had never played Volleyball before, therefore Rachel and Alex prepared many different games and exercises that would help develop balance, coordination, reactions, team work and other such skills that are much needed in Volleyball.
“The coaches shared best practice as to how we could deliver Volleyball differently here at St Benedict’s. We are now looking forward to developing, in partnership with Volleyball England, a more direct and permanent performance pathway for our players, some of whom were identified through this great initiative” said Director of Sport at St Benedict’s Nikki Woodroffe.
One activity that really got the children excited was the GoSpike machine that gives the opportunity to see how fast you can spike a volleyball. The fastest spikes were recorded and The National Polish Tourist Office had organised prizes from the upcoming Volleyball World Championships.
On Saturday the activities’ focus turned to the largest Polish school outside of Poland – Tadeusz Kościuszko School, Ealing. Over 500 children come to study every Saturday about Polish language, literature, geography and history. Students were lucky enough to meet and spend time with members of CBL Polonia’s squad who discussed the upcoming World Championships, CBL Polonia and the club’s growing partnership with PGE Skra BELCHATOW. The Polish school children also had the opportunity to measure themselves up to the athletes by measuring the speed of the spike, which brought in huge crowds. Following this, former player and long standing Coach Chris Hykiel gave a short presentation of the club’s history and achievements over the years. The highlight of the presentation was undoubtedly a special video that was filmed by Championship winning Volleyball member of PGE Skra Jędrzeja Maćkowiak.
Wearing his championship medal, he took the students on a tour of his club’s home venue in Poland, Hala Energia and discussed how he first fell in love with the sport as a junior player. Before leaving at the end of the day, the students with the fastest serves were announced and rewarded with prizes.
“The week was a true success and proved to us that junior development in Volleyball is in huge demand. We identified a number of potential young stars and are working on a plan that can offer them this development. It would be great for us to create a west London strong hold for junior development in England” Bartek Łuszcz concluded.