6 ways volleyball is a huge part of university life
16th August 2018
1. Getting into the sport
University is often a place where people first really get into volleyball. Students get the chance to try lots of new activities and sports, and many fall in love with volleyball. That’s why the Higher Education Volleyball Officer (HEVO) programme is so brilliant. The programme sees a student take up the role as a HEVO and put on recreational volleyball sessions for fellow students at their university.
These sessions are a lot of fun and are separate from University volleyball teams. They give people the chance to try volleyball, or get back into it, in a fun environment. They are also a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Some people will go on to play for universities teams but everyone is welcome at the sessions to enjoy recreational volleyball. Last year, over 6,000 people attended HEVO sessions at universities across England. So if you’re heading off to study in September – whatever year you’re in – be sure to find out about HEVO sessions at your university!
2. University teams
Volleyball is a popular sport at universities with most having representative teams. In fact, many will have teams of both genders as well as second teams. Volleyball England had over 90 university clubs affiliated last year so there is lots of competitive volleyball opportunities.
University teams play in the British Universities and College Sport competition, as well as some who will enter teams in local and the National Volleyball League. Last year’s champions of the national league in both the men’s and women’s game were both university teams, while there are student teams spread across the national divisions.
3. Student Cup
When it comes to university volleyball competitions, there is no doubt that the Student Cup has a unique atmosphere. In its long history, it has seen some of the best players compete including international stars and Olympians. But it is played in a fun atmosphere which is inviting and infectious. Particularly in the early rounds, some of the less experienced teams and players get the chance to compete under less pressure and their competitors will help them develop. The Student Cup brings together lots of teams and volleyballers as it is played in a weekend format too with qualifying rounds in different regions around the country.
Details about the 2018/19 Student Cup will be released in the coming weeks but get an insight into this special competition in the feature ‘In the Spotlight: the Student Cup’.
4. It’s not all about playing
Sport is not just about playing. Millions of people across the country get huge enjoyment through sport as volunteers. Whether that is refereeing, coaching or helping run teams in a wide range of roles.
Volleyball at university gives lots of opportunities to help shape their own volleyball experience. From taking on traditional roles running teams, there is also some very different volleyball experience connected to student life. Students have been match announcers, commentators, reporters, event organisers, team physios, statisticians…the list goes on. Could volleyball give you a new experience at university?
5. Talented athletes
For talented athletes, university can be the ideal place to continue their volleyball development. Many universities have high quality volleyball programmes which support players in a dual career of their academic studies and sporting ambitions. Among the universities which run high quality volleyball programmes, there are six senior academies which work with Volleyball England to develop their volleyball programmes.
Players after university have gone on to play at top level, represent their country or even go on to play professional volleyball abroad. University is an ideal place to pursue your volleyball dreams!
6. Local volleyball
Being a student can also open up opportunities in volleyball outside of university. Lots of students will move away from home to a new part of the country and that brings the chance to join the local volleyball community.
Local clubs, associations and leagues will often welcome students coming to get involved with the sport in the area, whether that is playing, coaching, refereeing or volunteering. If you’re heading to University soon, why not find out about the local opportunities to you? The regional associations can be a good place to start or the Volleyball England Club Finder on the home page where you can search for local clubs.