London Volleyball Association
Who we are and what we do
The London Volleyball Association (LVA) is the governing body for volleyball in London. We are a voluntary organisation whose aim is promoting volleyball within the London area.
The Association is governed by its constitution which says we have a President and an Executive Committee comprising a Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and a number of other Officers. These posts are filled by members through elections.
The Executive Committee is given powers to manage the affairs of the Association and the President (who serves for three years) is specifically there to make sure the Executive Committee doesn’t over-step its remit. The Executive Committee along with others work together in Special Interest Groups to deliver activities in particular areas.
Most of our effort goes into supporting youth volleyball development and running volleyball leagues in London. Our flagship competitions are the London Leagues which are open to any team in London with our Men’s and Women’s leagues attracting strong teams. The competition is organised to promote a higher standard of matches as teams progress through the divisions.
There are also London teams playing in the English National League and in the county leagues of Essex, Herts, Surrey, and Kent.
The LVA also runs tournaments, as well as fielding representative teams in national competitions, like the InterRegional Junior and the Senior County/Area Cup, organised by Volleyball England.
Courses for coaches and referees are promoted by the LVA and run with support from Volleyball England. Developing young players and teams is a priority for the LVA. We encourage established clubs to run junior sessions and look to improve links between clubs and schools.
The LVA also offers financial assistance to talented youngsters so that they can attend national training camps. London volleyball, reflects the diversity of Londoners and the LVA is committed to maintaining this diversity. We are particularly concerned with increasing the number of girls and women participating in volleyball at all levels.
It’s a fact of modern life that most sports without substantial media coverage survive on a shoestring. And although volleyball has enormous coverage world-wide with professional leagues, wealthy clubs and well paid players the reality in the UK is that volleyball is a minority sport and barely visible. This means the sport is funded primarily by the participants themselves with additional help from agencies who distribute public money from the Lottery or the Government and finally some charities and philanthropists.
The LVA’s income is primarily from the London League along with some public money. However its biggest resource is its own members volunteering time which doesn’t appear in the accounts but in terms of impact completely dwarfs the cash amounts.
That’s not to say cash isn’t important…
Most public money coming into sport is handled by Sport England and the quantity any sport gets tends to reflect the level of participation, its public profile and the success of UK performers on the world stage. Volleyball has a relatively low participation level, a low public profile and its performers rarely appear on any world stage. So it is no surprise that Sport England directs very little money in our direction.
Historically Sport England has distributed money to National Governing Bodies, in our case the English Volleyball Association, otherwise known as Volleyball England (VE). They ‘win’ money by submitting a mutli-year plan that is matched against Government objectives (yes the politicians are there too) for such things as winning medals at the Olympics and getting more of the population into some form of activity as an attempt to relieve the Health service from dealing with obesity and other sedentary-based ailments.
As is often the case with public funding the amount of money allocated by the primary funding body is rarely the amount visible at the grass roots. Understandably there are all sorts of overheads in administering the distribution of public money not least of which are the bidding process itself, the reporting of outcomes and ensuring the various ‘strings’ that were attached to the money have been properly dealt with.
The LVA often joins in this tortuous process by bidding for portions of money from VE where it can be applied in London and help VE deliver on its commitments. This often relates to developing the sport among young people.
The London League is of vital importance to the financing of the LVA as this income comes without any strings attached. There are some 80 teams in 10 divisions, some 600 matches and over 1300 registered players involved in this competition. Its administration is both complex and very time consuming – all done by volunteers whose value is incalculable.
Could it be more?
If the LVA had more funds we could run more activities with our volunteers or pay for more professionals to deliver projects. Bearing in mind the participants are unlikely to contribute much more, the main source of additional money will be Sport England.
To persuade Sport England to increase volleyball’s share we need to show them volleyball has lots of participants, that the public is enthusiastic about the sport and we have elite performers doing well at world events.
The LVA will do its part in all these areas where it can.