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School launches Elite Volleyball Academy

5 June 2015


The new Plymouth Studio School has joined forces with Plymouth Mayflower Volleyball Club to launch a new Elite Volleyball Academy in Plymouth for junior players.

The Elite Volleyball Academy, which will be based at the Plymouth Studio School on the University of St Mark & St John site, will be modelled on seven other Volleyball Satellite Academies already in the UK.  These are designed to provide talented junior players from age 14 with the opportunity to combine study with a vigorous training schedule on a daily basis.

The new Academy will link to Volleyball England via Plymouth Mayflower Volleyball Club and reflects Volleyball England’s objectives to be at the forefront of elite junior development for the sport.

Volleyball England is investing £4.6 million as part of its current strategic plan (2013 to 2017).  It aims to recruit over 11,000 adults into playing the sport on a weekly basis and develop high qualify junior players ready for future Olympic representation. Over 90% of the investment is being targeted at young people aged 14 – 25.

Andrew Potter of Plymouth Mayflower Volleyball Club, which has nurtured and trained its junior members to be England under 19 squads Indoor and Outdoor, Southwest Inter Regional U16 Girls champions & SW Under 12 boys Champions, comments, “This is fantastic news for Plymouth and the development of volleyball as a major sport – both indoor and beach volleyball.

“Working with Plymouth Studio School and using the world-class facilities on-site means we will be able to provide talented junior players with a combination of academic studies, professional coaching, strength and conditioning support, access to national and regional competitions and coaching qualifications.”

Support for those attending the Academy will be modelled on the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence programmes developed by SkillsActive, (National Governing Bodies (NGBs) of sport and industry experts).  The programmes ensure top young athletes seeking to perform at the highest level receive the support and training they need to succeed in elite sport and that they also have the skills, knowledge and qualifications to pursue a secondary or supplementary career.

Matthew Lennon, Principal of Plymouth Studio School comments, “We’re really excited to be working with Plymouth Mayflower Volleyball Club and Volleyball England to offer this opportunity to young people in the City to be part of a really exciting, nationally growing sport and to compete as elite athletes at the highest level possible – without sacrificing their school studies.”

Other Satellite Academies across the UK are already making a major contribution to the sport with their national level performance programmes, including the Volleyball England Academy at Loughborough College which currently accommodates and trains twelve of the top junior volleyball players in the country.

Matthew Lennon adds, “We’re looking forward to working  with Plymouth Mayflower Volleyball Club and Volleyball England to replicate this and build on their existing successes in developing young players.”

Any volleyball players aged 14 – 16  interested in a place at the Plymouth Studio School Elite Volleyball Academy starting in Year 10 or 12 this September should apply at  or call 01752 305300 to meet with the Principal.  The next Plymouth Studio School open day will be held at the University of St Mark and St John on July 18th.

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Press enquiries to Sarah Gunn or Matthew Lennon on 01752 305300 or Andrew Potter on 07971 498404

Editors Notes

Facts & Figures about Volleyball

  • Overview of Volleyball
    Volleyball has over 800 million players worldwide leading to claims that it is the most popular sport in the world.  It is a high energy, zero body contact mixed team sport you can play ‘indoors & outdoors – whatever your ability.  It includes intense and gripping rallies and tactical complexities that give players and spectators alike a unique experience
  • Over 900,000 tickets were sold to the British public to watch volleyball at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, 3rd only to football and Athletics.” Reported by LOCOG Nov 12
  • Volleyball England has launched a Satellite Academy programme as part of their Excel programme. The aim of the programme will be the development of talent pathways at club, divisional and national levels with a particular emphasis on youth programmes.
  • The Talent programmes are a key area of Volleyball England’s focus to increase the number of English Volleyball players engaging in high quality (daily and monthly) training environments and feeding into performance clubs and the National Programmes (Indoor & Beach).