I first went along to watch Wapping Wildcats play when I was a divisional administrator for the London League. They were clearly a well run outfit keen to raise both the standard of volleyball they played and the club’s standing in the community. Later, in 2017 Elsa Meserlian invited me to attend the inaugural mini-volley session for primary school aged children of club members and their friends to be held each Sunday. The youngsters were enthusiastic, although few in number but attendances grew and soon Wapping Wildcubs were a feature in the locality. No doubt helped by lockdown rules, the crowd attending junior sessions is now impressive and the adults’ plans for returning to competition in the coming season have made a big impression on Sport England. Supported by the Volleyball England Foundation the club has had its excellence recognised and received a “Return to Play” grant.
This means they can get back on court helping to protect players from Covid-19 contamination with infection control kits, additional equipment to reduce the risk of spread, a larger supply of balls and the resources to train more coaches making a greater number of sessions possible. Their plans had to include a set of basic rules to be followed at training sessions as matches to ensure the safety and well-being of all, keeping everyone safe. They look certain to boost the profile of our sport in Wapping and the Isle of Dogs.
Elsa, who is the club’s head coach, told us, “This grant means we can cater for the surge of sign-ups as members come back to the club and ensure we don’t have to turn anyone away due to COVID safety measures”.
A great deal more about Wapping Wildcats can be found on the club web site: https://wappingwildcats.com/teams/juniors/
Should you like to know more about the subject or need some support to apply for the Sport England Return to Play contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contributor: Douglas Barr-Hamilton
Source: Elsa Meserlian