Volleyball Ireland President Clodagh NicCanna and General Manager Gary Stewart presented a key note speech at the annual European Volleyball congress in Katowice, Poland over the weekend.
The presentation entitled ‘Growing the Underdog – Ireland’s journey of growth’, provided an overview of Volleyball Ireland’s recent successes and provided delegates from 53 National Federations with some best practice recommendations and concepts Volleyball in Ireland have used to accelerate growth over the last few years. The honour was bestowed on Ireland by CEV President Aleksandar Boricic who invites only two Federations each year to share their stories. The presentation discussed Ireland’s approach to strategic development, innovation and branding and paid tribute to previous Board members and key figures who have developed the sport in Ireland.
Clodagh said, “The CEV congress was a fantastic experience and opportunity to showcase our journey and to build great relationships and foster partnerships with other Federations. We’ve been contacted by some of the biggest and best Federations on the continent who were really impressed with our progress and ideas and have offered their support to help us develop our Federation and National team programmes further – we will be progressing this over the coming months, which will really aid some of the objectives we’ve identified in our exciting new High Performance Framework.”
Ireland’s visit to the Congress coincided with the Board’s approval of the High Performance budget for 2022 which will see increased investment in National team programmes and a new development centre projects for junior players. Full details of these will be announced soon.
The Small Countries Association General Assembly was also held where Grainne Culliton (past President of Volleyball Ireland) was elected to the Executive Committee and a calendar of National team competitions for Senior & Junior teams was discussed, with a full programme for 2022 to be published in the coming weeks. Clodagh added, “The SCA meeting was productive, positive and forward thinking – this cooperation and planning will help our own teams focus with some exciting competitions fast approaching for boys, girls and senior teams both indoor and on the sand. We’re really thankful that a number of Federations are enthusiastic to host these events which are key to our National Team’s development. It’s a great opportunity for our players to compete at International level against our fellow Small Country Associations especially after such a rough ride and lack of competition during Covid.”