Grass leagues take root
MIGHTY oaks from little acorns grow, so the proverb goes.
Guernsey Volleyball might just have the roots of a quickly-growing tree sprouting from the small seedling of an idea that originated from a meeting between the Guernsey Sports Commission, the KGV and the Guernsey Petanque Association.
Dave Bartram explains: ‘I’m involved with petanque and volleyball, I was up at KGV meeting Steve Sharman and Mark Latter to talk about building some petanque terrains and we got on the subject of playing volleyball on the beach, which led to us chatting about playing on grass – something which I haven’t seen in Guernsey before in my time here.’
The man who has been in the island since 1997 knew that volleyball players had missed out on competitive action for three months and thought a summer grass league might be a good idea.
He took that suggestion to Guernsey Volleyball’s next committee meeting and they decided to play at the KGV.
‘We decided to host a game between committee members and some friends to test the logistics of playing and after that was successful we decided to hold some open sessions to gauge interest, the first was Monday night and saw an incredible 36 people turn up – we had to put up a third net,’ Bartram said.
‘Word had got out and we had existing players and a few new faces.
‘We took the beginners to one side and gave them a crash course whilst the others split themselves into four equal teams. After an hour the beginners joined in their first friendly game.’
The next session is tomorrow and the plan is to keep Fridays as social matches, with a grass league planned for Mondays throughout July and August. There will be another ‘try it’ session on Monday.
‘Depending on numbers, we may just do teams of four and have people enter as a team or as individuals and the committee will place them in a team,’ Bartram said.
‘We will be making sure there are no elite teams as we want a fairly level playing field. By holding it on a Monday we hope that any new players will continue to play when we move back indoors in September.
‘I think the players have missed the competition and team sports during the past three months and were very keen to be playing again.
‘If the league is successful the GVA plan to continue it as a summer activity next year and have also had early discussions around holding a Guernsey Grass Open, inviting teams from the UK.
‘Our current batch of Island players have made some great contacts via their time playing in the Hampshire league which we hope to capitalise on.’