South West Junior Programme

Did you know that the South West Volleyball Association (SWVA) runs a regional training programme for aspiring junior volleyball players?


What is the South West Junior Programme?

The SWVA runs junior training sessions for U15 Boys, U15 girls, U17 Boys & U17 Girls.  These sessions are held once per month on a Saturday, September to May, and are mostly hosted at Riverside Leisure Centre, Cowick Street, Exeter, EX4 1AF.  Players train for four hours under the supervision of a dedicated coaching team for their respective age/gender category.

For each of the four age/gender categories, a squad of 12 players is selected on merit to represent the South West at a national competition (Volleyball England Inter-Regional Championships) in May.


Who is eligible to participate?

The programme is open to those who play volleyball regularly at a club, school, or organisation and are looking to develop and improve their skills and knowledge alongside like-minded peers.  Along with playing experience/standard, the coaching teams will also be looking at players’ attitude, work ethic, team ethic and coachability.

To be eligible for the South West region, one or more of a player’s home address, school or volleyball club must be located within the South West region (as defined by Volleyball England).  The South West region includes South Wales.

Ages are in line with school years:

Age Group Not born before Up to school year
Under 15 01/09/2008* 10
Under 17 01/09/2006* 12

*The above dates are as applicable to the 2023-24 season.

Although there is no lower age limit for the U15 squads, players younger than 12 would be expected to be exceptional for their age and a recommendation from their club coach would be expected.

If you are uncertain of your son/daughter’s eligibility or suitability for our programme, please contact the relevant head coach (see contact details below).


What are the aims?

This programme aims to build upon what junior volleyball players do at their clubs and schools, to bring them on to the next level as individual and team players.

This is achieved by developing players’ technical skills, game awareness, tactics and teamwork, in an environment with other like-minded players of a similar age from throughout the South West region.  The programme has an emphasis on preparing players to compete in 6-a-side gameplay, which may be new to some participants (particularly in the U15 squads).  There is an expectation that participants regularly attend the monthly regional sessions, in addition to their local volleyball commitments, so that the training squad can develop progressively over the course of the season.

To enable us to push the most talented players and to fulfil the programme aims, the training squad is refined over the course of the season, culminating with selection of a squad of 12 players to compete at the Volleyball England Inter-Regional Championships.  The Inter-Regional Championships provides a fantastic additional development opportunity for those who earn selection.


How does the selection process work?

Each season, the initial sessions are open, subject to the above eligibility criteria.  The coaching team will assess the training squad during each session and will refine the squad over the course of the season.  When the coaches determine that a player doesn’t meet the selection criteria to progress to the subsequent month’s session, players will be informed through their parents/guardians and will be provided with feedback on how they can improve.

At the discretion of the relevant coaching team, sessions later in the season will be invite only.

The final squad of 12 players is normally confirmed in March.  Other players will only be invited to subsequent sessions at the discretion of the coaching team, where this is considered to be of benefit to the selected squad (e.g. to ensure that enough players are present for 6v6 gameplay).

Selection to compete at the Inter-Regional Championships is on merit, with attitude, commitment, work ethic, teamwork, positional requirements and present ability all factored into the coaching team’s decisions.  Being selected to represent the South West at this national event is a significant achievement.


How do I register for the programme?

If you are satisfied that your son/daughter meets the above eligibility criteria, please look out for a booking link on the SWVA event bookings webpage for the relevant sessions.  Booking for the September session normally opens in late August.  Our sessions are in high demand so early booking is recommended.

The cost is currently £20 for a 4-hour session and all bookings must be done online before attending.  Players cannot attend without booking in advance.

Please also print off the “Parent Consent form” and bring it along with you: Parental-consent-form


Who are our coaches?

Squad Head Coach Assistant Coach(es)
U15 Boys Cliff Ball

Neil Bentley & Gary Burton
U15 Girls Janna Rogers

Jeremy Harris
U17 Boys Ben Fairweather

Ali Mitchell
U17 Girls Dave Gunter

Floe Ermeje

Team Manager:
Michaela Willis