Volleyball is one of those sports that when you take a moment to think about, should be a damn sight more popular in Ireland. Like basketball it is an indoor game, played over the winter months, and is almost never subject to the vagaries of the weather – why we are not a nation of Liberos, Hitters and Setters, is hard to fathom!
Although the sport is very much concentrated on the Eastern seaboard here in Ireland there is a burgeoning volleyball scene in the West of Ireland and this year for the first time there is a team based in Mayo.
The Mayo Volleyball Club was co-founded by Edel Nolan (Irish international) and Mikal O’Boyle who both played with Galway VC in the top division of the Irish Volleyball League over the past couple of seasons. The two experienced and talented players decided that the time was right to set up a club in Mayo though and along with coach Arkdiusz Poplonski they founded Mayo VC.
South Mayo has long been a powerhouse at schools level in volleyball with Claremorris and Kiltimagh to the fore nationally over the past twenty years and it was no surprise when several former players from those championship winning sides found their way back to the sport.
Starting from scratch, Mayo VC have been nothing short of sensational in their debut season winning five from five in Division 2 of the league and hope in the coming years to progress through the divisions to the top tier of the league, as Mikal and Arkdiusz explain in the video below.
They also pointed out that the sport is for everyone, and considering the competitive & fun nature of the game, (and the fact that you don’t have to worry about the weather!), they hope to see more and more women in Mayo find the sport for the first sport or for those who gave up the game after school to return to volleyball.
The Irish Volleyball Association website can be found at www.volleyballireland.com
Mayo Volleyball Club train in Barnacarol Community centre every Wednesday at 6:30 and St. Louis Community school Kiltimagh Fridays at 6:30 and new members are very welcome.