Volleyball chiefs plan medal assault

10 August 2012 / 15:33

The British Volleyball Federation have outlined the legacy plans they hope they will lead them to Olympic medals in 2024.

Although beach and indoor volleyball have entertained the public over the past fortnight, a lack of British involvement at the business end of the Games highlights how much work lies ahead.

Both sports are still relatively new to the home countries, especially at an elite level owing to a lack of a domestic league, while participation numbers at a club and junior level are in desperate need of an increase.

In the current UK Sport cycle the BVF received £3.5million to cover six disciplines - beach, indoor and sitting. With the federation fielding an abnormal level of expressions of interest over the last two weeks, they hope their legacy plans can draw money in their direction, with the aim being to win medals 12 years from now.

"We believe we were the first sport to submit our legacy plans," said BVF president Richard Caldicott. "We started them 18 months ago and the first part of out plan is to get our teams knocking on the door for Rio in 2016.

"We need better facilities for our players and we are going to get them. For instance, all the sand used at Horse Guards Parade for the beach volleyball will be redistributed to lay 36 courts inside the M25.

"Add to that 20 semi-permanent courts on beaches around England, the continuation of work with our volleyball centre in Kettering and also the fact we are opening our volleyball academy in Bournemouth. If we get the funding we need in the next cycle, we would want to medal at the Olympics in 2024."

They certainly have the backing of the FIVB president, Jizhong Wei. He interrupted the indoor women's final press conference to congratulate them on their performance in London - they won Britain's first-ever game - while he has had similar words for the indoor men and beach teams.

He has taken his praise higher too, saying: "I spoke with the prime minister David Cameron and also with Dr Jacques Rogge, the International Olympic Committee president, and told them how good the volleyball has been.

"I spoke to them about legacy and I said: 'The legacy is already here. We have spectators at the indoor and beach every day, sold out. They are the future, this is the legacy'. Britain can be more than satisfied with their volleyball teams."