Volleyball Ireland will this morning launch their new Sport Ireland funded Women in Sport Programme.
The Developing Inspiring Volleyball Activators (DIVA) initiative will focus on providing leadership and coaching skills to female Volleyball players, kick starting their career on the coaching ladder.
The programme will predominantly focus on students in third level colleges and active players within existing Volleyball clubs.
Participants will be provided with Coach Education, Training, Volleyball Equipment and Marketing support to establish new Volleyball activity within their College or for club based DIVAs within the community – contributing not only to the development of coaches but also helping grow participation.
Volleyball is one of the few sports where female adult participation is higher than males, with a 64:36 split.
However, when it comes to Coaching and Refereeing only 38% and 41% respectively are women.
“The key aim for the project is to narrow the gap between our coaching ratios and participation,” said Volleyball Ireland General Manager Gary Stewart.
“We really hope that the support, guidance and training the DIVA programme offers will inspire more women into coaching, this can only help us raise participation and improve performance.”
“For club Activators this programme can compliment nicely other initiatives such as the CEV Schools project and help build volunteer capacity so clubs have the resources to develop youth sections.”
Five colleges from across Ireland have already pledged their support to back the programme including UCD, Cork IT and NUIG.
Sport Ireland are funding the DIVA initiative with €50,000 split over two years, and Women in Sport lead Nora Stapleton, who will be a keynote speaker at the Sport for Business Women in Sport Conference at RTE on November 13th said “We are very impressed with the creativity of Volleyball Ireland’s DIVA programme and how it targets a specific market in the Volleyball Community that is currently under represented. There is great growth potential in this exciting project and we encourage all interested parties to get involved.”
“Coaching, Leadership and Participation are some of the key areas that Sport Ireland are looking to address in their Women in Sport Policy. With this exciting new project, Volleyball Ireland are doing a great job in working towards achieving a difference in these areas.”
The DIVA programme is the brainchild of Development Officer Jessie Carmody, who herself took part in a Women in Sport funded Volleyball Transition Year project whilst in Secondary school.
“The DIVA programme is all about having a positive impact on your College or club, in a fun and active way,” she said.
“We aren’t looking for expert coaches or elite Volleyball players, just normal people that have energy and enthusiasm and want to make a difference. The WIS programme inspired me when I was a TY student and I hope this new addition can encourage the next batch of Volleyball leaders.”
The deadline to register for the programme is December 1st and an initial event bringing the DIVA’s together is pencilled in for January 18th.