WHEN one of the country’s leading universities was looking for help in finalising preparations for reaching the finals of The British Universities Cup, it was Whitby’s volleyball team North Riding Eagles who got the call.
The delighted Eagles got to travel up to the famous Durham University where they received a warm welcome and were treated to an eye-opening tour of the excellent sporting facilities Team Durham have at their dedicated sports campus.
The North Riding players and parents were all impressed with the quality of coaching among the sports that were going on from fencing to lacrosse.
The investment in the equipment to help athletes improve was what made a huge impact and it is no surprise to see Durham leading the way in sports such as rowing and hockey.
When the North Riding players made their way into the sports hall they saw the quality of the successful recruitment of athletes that Durham pursue for themselves as the basketball and men’s volleyball training sessions were in progress.
While Durham deservedly has an international reputation for its academic success it was interesting to discover how successful they are at sports. Team Durham were runners-up in the 2012 British Universities College Sports Championships overtaking such traditional sporting universities such as Leeds Carnegie who were 5th.
It was no surprise the North Riding Eagles players were nervous when they went on court to face the power of Team Durham Women’s volleyball team.
Team Durham coaches Alex Hodge and Cinthia Silva Angus helped the Yorkshire girls relax giving them advice, encouragement and integrating them into some drills.
The aim for Team Durham was to run some rotations and moves in time for their British University Cup Finals matches.
It was no surprise that Team Durham beat a valiant North Riding team 3-0 in sets but what pleased the North Riding contingent was that the girls managed to give Team Durham a game.
Achieving double figures in the first two sets was a big morale booster for The Eagles before Team Durham stepped up a level in the third set and won with ease.It was a great experience for the local side to play against such good players and having the Team Durham coaching staff give such good advice to the youngsters was a big help for the local players as they also prepare to go into the junior national cup competitions.