The programme will see Volleyball Ireland Development Officers working with Affiliated Clubs and Third Level Colleges to develop an Activator programme targeted at recruiting female leaders.
In a club setting this will see participants provided with training, resources and the tools to develop Social Volley classes for adults, or new Youth sections for children. It is hoped this will be the first step in a pathway from participation to performance coaching and refereeing.
Working with Student Sport Ireland, the College based aspect of the programme will help promote Volleyball in third level institutions creating more opportunities for previously engaged school players to continue a pathway in the sport and to recruit new students to play Volleyball. This project will train up Student Leaders or ‘DIVAS’ who in turn will establish social volleyball classes in partnership with their college. A new Freshers and Beginners Volleyball competition will also be launched in the New Year.”
General Manager of Volleyball Ireland, Gary Stewart said, “The aim is that our Women in Sport programme will get more existing female players activated as coaches and referees whilst also filling a gap in our participation pathway at College level. We presented a data-led application with the focus on narrowing the gap between the amount of male coaches and female coaches and officials actively involved in Volleyball. Whilst 65% of registered adult players are female, only 42% of coaches and 39% of referees are Women and that gap is far too big. This is an exciting programme that our Development team have created, and we expect it will have a positive impact for our clubs.” More information on these programmes will be provided at the Club Development Conference on Saturday September 21st (register here).
Whilst the programme predominantly focuses on the Coaching & Officiating strand of the Women in Sport Policy, there will be a positive impact on Volleyball participation by way of developing the capacity of clubs and volunteers, this in turn will lead to more players for our member clubs.
Today’s announcement follows the publication of Sport Ireland’s new Policy on Women in Sport earlier this year. The policy builds on the significant work that has already been undertaken in this area within the sport sector to date, recognising the opportunity to make a significant impact on the lives of women through their involvement in sport.
The Policy on Women in Sport identifies Coaching & Officiating, Active Participation, Leadership & Governance and Visibility as four key target areas, with National Governing Bodies invited to apply for funding under these themes.
We’ve recently launched an equipment replacement programme for clubs, a school-club link initiative and now a support to help recruit new coaches and referees.
Volleyball Ireland would like to thank Sport Ireland for their continued support as well as Minister Shane Ross and Minister Brendan Griffin.