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Volleyball is experiencing a spike at St Kevin’s College. Kayla Hodge finds out how the sport started booming through the efforts of a group of keen pupils.
If you want something done, sometimes you’ve just got to do it yourself.
When a group of St Kevin’s College pupils wanted to start a volleyball team, they took initiative to make it happen.
It started when prefect Leyanne Monoy (17), and her friend, Maikey Quiachon (15), asked the physical education teachers why the school had no volleyball teams.
‘‘We were jokingly asking the teachers ‘why isn’t there any volleyball?’ but then they seriously said ‘well, you could try to start it’,’’ Leyanne said.
‘‘They said if you want to play, make it happen.’’
So they put the wheels in motion, rallied their friends and started spending lunch times playing volleyball on the school’s asphalt courts.
It piqued the interest of other pupils, so they organised ‘‘havea-go’’ sessions, hosting them at the end of 2019.
The have-a-go days were ‘‘really popular’’ and ended in the group organising team trials.
Because of the high level of interest in trials, three different events were held — ‘‘we couldn’t fit them all in the gym at the same time’’, Maikey said.
After giving the sport a go, players became addicted and just ‘‘couldn’t stop playing’’, she said.
Three teams were formed — senior boys, senior girls, and junior boys — and while Covid-19 affected the season last year, they still gained some court time and celebrated success.
The teams played in the Aoraki Volleyball Association secondary school league and also in an Aoraki Volleyball Association tournament.
‘‘It was a good experience. I think the girls and the boys, as our first time, did really well,’’ Leyanne said.
The senior boys team placed second in one of the tournaments, and the senior girls played in the final of their grade.
Teachers and fellow pupils were able to watch the final, and it sparked further interest in the sport.
About 30 pupils were now involved across the three teams, and they were back at it again this season to keep the sport going, and loving it.
‘‘We want it to be more noticed. They seem really excited to play volleyball. Honestly, they would rather just play the game than do the training,’’ Leyanne said.
St Kevin’s had never had formal volleyball teams, and being involved in a pupil-led initiative to get the sport off the ground was exciting, she said.
‘‘It feels really good, because I can see a lot of people really enjoy it, so it makes us feel so happy.’’
St Kevin’s pupil Johan Gulinnao (15), who is very passionate about volleyball, is rapt the sport is getting bigger at his school. He moved to Oamaru from the Philippines, where volleyball was very popular, in 2019, and wanted to help make the sport ‘‘famous’’ in Oamaru.
At present, pupils were ‘‘self-teaching’’, but they were looking for people to fill the coaching roles to take the sport further.