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Volleyball sides make a comeback;Sport in Scotland

National inter-schools volleyball competitions could be revived for the first time since 1982 following a rise in school affiliations to the Scottish Volleyball Association.

Rona Brodie, Team Sport co-ordinator for volleyball, says: "It's a case of whether we could get the volunteers and the extra funding to make it happen. However, it would not be at the expense of the schools festivals, which have proved very successful."

Festivals in Dundee and Glasgow last weekend for S4-S6 pupils were fully subscribed and attracted 426 participants. Two venues were necessary in Dundee (Grove Academy and the Dick McTaggart Centre) with eight courts in operation and nine at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall.

With two full-time development officers for the sport in Iain Grubb (Glasgow) and the newly appointed Kenny Moretta (Edinburgh), Brodie is no longer ploughing a lone furrow. Aberdeen currently has two part-time development officers in Olwen McGregor and Mary Mark, who spend 10 hours a week at schools level.

A festival for S2-S3 pupils will be held at the Beach Leisure Centre in Aberdeen on March 17, supported by Grampian Region's Active-8 programme.

"At the moment, we are concentrating our efforts on the secondary schools as we just do not have enough people to make a big push in the primary schools just now," Brodie says. "One of the major successes has been the number of teachers who are taking volleyball as part of their Higher grade. We have had two very successful Higher grade courses already and the third will be held at Inverclyde in May."

Iain Grubb, the current British captain, adds: "We have a lot of teachers who put in good work in the Glasgow area - Morag Brown at Penilee High and John Bourke at Holyrood Secondary spring to mind."

Glasgow used to be a black hole as far as volleyball was concerned but that has all changed. "The biggest difficulty is breaking into certain areas of the city where volleyball is a minority sport," Grubb says. "In many areas, the culture has always been football and that is all the schoolchildren know."

Backing from Glasgow City Council has helped, as have new facilities at Scotstoun.

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