VolleySLIDE - Getting Started - Context in Great Britain [back in 2009]
The award of the London 2012 Paralympic Games in 2005 provided the perfect opportunity to restart the sport of Sitting Volleyball across Great Britain again. The sport had existed back in the 90s but had died out following the decision of our National Paralympic Committee (NPC) to not enter the Men’s team into Barcelona 1992 Paralympic Games. It is generally accepted that it was only really something of this magnitude that would be able to reignite the flame.
Sitting volleyball was a term often referred to within the volleyball community and education, however there was very little activity.
Very few teams go to their first Olympic or Paralympic Games and win a medal, as teams require time to develop the synergy, cooperation and team work that is required to succeed at a world level.
It is of course recognised that a large percentage of the attraction of joining the sitting volleyball revolution in Britain prior to the 2012 Games was down to the appeal and potential of being involved in London Paralympics. Regardless of the additional funding that came into Olympic and Paralympic sports in Britain, those governing the sitting volleyball still had to compete for funding, resources and athletes against other sports.
For the first few years funding was only secured for the performance end of the sport, however, with little in existence underneath it, initial progression was slow. The National Governing Body for Volleyball in England then secured development funding for sitting volleyball as part of its 2009-13 Strategic Plan. Part of that plan, and their vision, included taking over the management of the Great Britain Programmes to link up the whole player and competition pathway.
At this stage the message from the NGB was clear and straight forward... 'we are working towards Rio 2016 and beyond in our minds'. They publically stated that they believed a medal in Sitting Volleyball, particularly the women’s game was possible in the future, and competing in London was a key part of the team and staffs’ development towards this.
With them now having the funding that was required to go into full time training, they set to create partnerships, or win:win situations that would provide some of the things that they needed.