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Forres Volleyball Club open to all ages and abilities


By Garry McCartney

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(Standing from left) George Orr, Kirsty Chalmers, Farah Ramadan, Freya Paterson, Emilija Lake, Sophia Heath, Kaela Theron, Helena Neall, Mick Hilton, Perry Johnson. (Kneeling from left) Holly Gray, Lucy Fraser, Sophie Foster, Lily Avenell, Imogen Hilton, Jessica McDonald, Zoey Simangan.
(Standing from left) George Orr, Kirsty Chalmers, Farah Ramadan, Freya Paterson, Emilija Lake, Sophia Heath, Kaela Theron, Helena Neall, Mick Hilton, Perry Johnson. (Kneeling from left) Holly Gray, Lucy Fraser, Sophie Foster, Lily Avenell, Imogen Hilton, Jessica McDonald, Zoey Simangan.

A NEW sports club is looking for more players and support.

Forres Volleyball Club - formed after a chance meeting between founder Perry Johnson and a group of players from Forres Academy playing the game in Grant Park - currently has 19 members, two coaches and equipment but needs help to expand and compete.

Coach Perry offering instruction.
Coach Perry offering instruction.

Perry said: “It all started this summer when I was playing with my two wee ones in the park when a ball rolled over. Realising it was a volleyball, I overhand served it back to the girls who’d lost it.

“As we were leaving, one of them, Imogen, asked if I would be willing to coach them. I said I would give it a go so arranged a court booking at Forres House Community Centre. I also contacted Active Schools and, once the autumn term started, they funded the lets.”

Perry played volleyball competitively for six years in British Columbia, Canada. Having moved to Scotland in 2016, he now works as an electrical design engineer with Highland Council. His wife is a teacher at Anderson’s Primary School.

The girls go through a training drill at Forres Academy.
The girls go through a training drill at Forres Academy.

This summer, Perry coached sessions at the centre every Wednesday from 7-9pm and the girls practised themselves on Saturdays at the park. They have now moved to Forres Academy, practising on Tuesdays from 7-9pm during the winter months.

He said: “We have registered with Moray Sports Hub and have a bank account. I am the club chairman and George Orr is the treasurer. I coach the under-18s (Solstice Wolves) and George, the under-16s but we practice together and co-coach most of the time.

“A number of parents support the team and Mick and Cheryll Hilton - team captain Imogen’s parents - have assisted with booking venues and searching for funding.”

Sophia Heath.
Sophia Heath.
Emilija Lake.
Emilija Lake.
Freya Paterson.
Freya Paterson.

The club is open to S1-S6 girls from anywhere.

Perry is compiling a list of people who have expressed interest in starting more teams, with most interest so far in adult drop-in sessions.

Zoey Simangan.
Zoey Simangan.
A cheer from Kaela Theron.
A cheer from Kaela Theron.

Next March, weekly practice will revert back to Wednesdays at Forres House from 7-9pm. The floor, posts, net, and acoustics at the school are not as good as at the centre.

“One of the struggles we have faced is with equipment,” explained Perry. “We were donated nine balls and two ball bags from Susan Armour at the now-folded Forres House Volleyball Club.

“We need a new net as the one we are using is held together with shoelace and rope. A new net costs around £250. We need better equipment to be able to host other teams. At the moment we only travel to competitions as we don’t have sufficient equipment.”

The girls go through a training drill at Forres Academy.
The girls go through a training drill at Forres Academy.

He added: “We are looking for people to join. If there is enough interest the club would run as a drop-in session, free for FitLife members with a small fee at reception for those that don’t have one.”

For more information call Perry on 07514 086365 or email perrywjohnson@gmail.com.

Lorna Cresswell.
Lorna Cresswell.

Moray Councillor and former youth internationalist Lorna Creswell recently scored a few games for the club. She said: “I was delighted to see the camaraderie I experienced myself as a school senior!”

The girls celebrating.
The girls celebrating.


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