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Play for the game, not the result

National inter-school volleyball may have been in cold storage for 10 years, but that has not prevented Brannock High in Newarthill from producing accomplished players.

John French, head of PE, estimates that up to 60 former pupils play in the National League and the school continues to be to the fore in national festivals.

The school has been open for 14 years and Mr French believes the secret of success is that the emphasis is not on winning but on participation. Pupils are encouraged not just to play volleyball but to coach and referee games from an early age. "We also had a very supportive headmaster," Mr French says.

This month 40 pupils will travel to Europe to take part in games against sides from Holland and Belgium. Brannock, with a school roll of 800, relies mainly on its PE staff for its sport input but others are willing to muck in when the need arises. For the Perth schools festival last month, an English teacher volunteered to drive the minibus.

Mr French rates the facilities at Brannock as "pretty poor" but the school offers a wide range of sports including football, rugby, athletics, netball and basketball.

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