In preparation for the forthcoming 2012 Olympics, Great Britain’s women’s volleyball team will be visiting Chelmsford next week (19-23 June) for a programme of intensive training and coaching activities.
Since the GB women’s indoor volleyball team was established in 2007, all the athletes and coaching staff who have been involved in the elite programme have embarked on a committed and dedicated path to ensure volleyball is represented by a British team at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Despite receiving accreditation by the British Olympic Association to compete at London 2012 as a result of meeting their performance criteria, the team lost all their Government funding in September 2010 and were facing not being able to compete at the games.
A programme of sponsorship and support has been put together by a number of partners across the UK, and the team members have also undertaken their own fundraising activities, including a 310-mile sponsored cycle ride last year.
Next week, from 19-23 June, the team will be staying at Writtle College and using the 200 hectare rural estate as a base, whilst undertaking training sessions twice a day at Anglia Ruskin University’s sports and fitness facilities in Chelmsford.
Both Writtle College and Anglia Ruskin University are partners of the London 2012 Chelmsford Consortium and are also LOCOG accredited Pre-Games Training Camp venues, co-ordinated by the Essex County Council London 2012 Legacy Team headed up by Jason Fergus.
Ken Edwards, Chairman of Chelmsford Volleyball Club, said: “Congratulations to all those who have brought about this visit. It will be great to see our international team prepare for London 2012 after all the funding problems they have experienced.”
Stephen Dupree, Head of Sport and Active Lifestyles at Anglia Ruskin, went on to say: “It’s great for the town, for Anglia Ruskin and for our partners to be able to help a GB team ahead of next year’s Olympics.
“It’s fantastic that we’re all pulling together to support the women’s volleyball team in their push for the podium.”
Cllr Stephen Castle, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Education and 2012 Games commented: “I’m really pleased that the Team GB Womens’ Volleyball squad has chosen to train in Essex this summer. The training facilities offered in Chelmsford are superb and I know that the team will be given the warmest of welcomes. I hope that the support shown here in Essex helps them with their preparations this summer and see them return to Essex again before the start of the London 2012 Games.”
The team will return to Essex in July this year for further training, when they will be based at Anglia Ruskin University and training and coaching at Boswells School in Chelmsford.