Thu. May 30th, 2024



Community volleyball club Wapping Wildcats and the Newark Youth London charity have widened
their partnership to deliver more free community volleyball sessions in Tower Hamlets. The sessions
for young people aged 11-25 continue to run at the John Orwell Centre every Thursday at 4pm. In
addition, more volleyball sessions will be offered – an after school club session at Mulberry School for
Girls and a mixed after school session at Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of Schools.
“We started working together in 2021, when some players we had tried out for the club were unable
to pay fees. We did not want to turn anyone away and opted to look for ways to make the sport
accessible to anyone. After reaching out to Tower Hamlets Council, we connected with the Newark
Youth London management,” explained Elsa Meserlian, Club Head Coach at Wapping Wildcats.
“The free sessions proved very popular – we would welcome new faces to volleyball every week. The
participants were raving about the Wildcats’ coaching approach and would come back with friends
the next session. At the peak of the summer, we saw an average of 20 young people attending,”
added Meserlian.

“Newark Youth London are proud to be in partnership with Wapping Wildcats, delivering volleyball
sessions to young people in Tower Hamlets Borough for free,” Manik Miah, Youth Work Manager at
Newark Youth London, said of the partnership.
“The partnership has been running over a year with great success, achievements, participation of
young people, positive engagement and options of accessing all other youth provision of Newark
Youth London and the council. Wapping Wildcats have been an inspiration and key partners in this
project with their dedicated management team, staff members and great coaches. They have made
positive impact on young people, giving them a platform to be part of this project with Newark Youth
London. In addition, participants have had the chance to trial for London Youth Games,” said Miah.
The sessions are scheduled to start in the first week of October. The sessions are designed for ages
11-19, including volleyball players up to age 25 with special educational needs or disabilities. With
the many financial burdens looming – inflation, the rise in energy prices, looming economic pressures
– the next 3-6 months will show the true value of what organizations such as the Wildcubs & Newark
Youth London offers to our local children.

Our club is a not for profit community sport organization, and caters for players from all different
cultures, religions and social backgrounds, established in 2017 following a request from a parent
living locally to have fun Sunday sessions for her children and their friends. The word spread fast and
a few years down the line we found ourselves as a fully fledged club offering volleyball to 30
members in 2021 & 115 members in 2022! The club was one of the first of its kind in the UK, offering
a mini-volley programme which accepts children as young as six years old to set the physical
foundations for volleyball by focusing on coordination, movement, technique and the fundamental

We aspire to provide the right type of training to suit each child’s ambitions, and in the process of
doing so to produce the next generation of Olympians.