When Belinda Warnock moved to Orkney 22 years ago, hardly anyone on the island played volleyball.
But, thanks to her dedication, it is now a thriving sport – and the Stromness Academy PE Principal has been rewarded for her efforts with the Orkney Participation Coach of the Year and the Highland and Islands Community Coach of the year awards.
At Stromness, there is an after-school volleyball club, and many of players feed into the Orkney Volleyball Association club and league system. Last year, the Orkney men’s and women’s teams made it to the Scottish Plate Finals in Wishaw with Stromess pupils Joel Wishart, Magnus Black and Harry Rae-Shortland playing for the men’s side and Ruby Merriman and Catrin Sutherland in the women’s line-up.
Catrin is now at university and training with the Scottish women’s team, while the three boys have been invited to take part in the Scottish youth squad training camps.
“Volleyball is now very much part of school sport,” said Belinda. “It is included in the curriculum at Standard Grade and Higher level as well as being a core subject.”