We are very proud of the achievements of ninth grader Tuana C. who recently played with the Volleyball Development Camp (VBDC) club team in the under-15 final in the Volleyball Grand Prix Nationals at the end of April.
This talented athlete was first introduced to the sport at TASIS during Middle School and was so inspired by the fun and the coaching that she is now also pursuing it outside of school in order to play more continuously.
Tuana’s VBDC team faced undefeated rivals Richmond, having beat all other challengers in the run-up to the final. Looking for an upset, the VBDC team ultimately lost the Cup to the Londoners but are very proud that they are now officially the second strongest U15 club team in the nation.
We recently asked Tuana about her experience playing the sport.
When did you start playing volleyball?
I first started playing volleyball in seventh grade at TASIS and made the A team both in seventh and eighth grade during the volleyball season. I then tried out as a freshman this year and made Varsity! I then realized how much I love it and started playing outside of school.
Why did you choose volleyball over another sport?
I picked volleyball because my main sport is tennis and therefore, I thought that it would help in different aspects like serving and tennis volleys by spiking. I also really liked that it was a team sport as I grew up mainly doing solo sports.
Can you describe your experience with the VBDC club team so far?
I joined VBDC at the start of Upper School in about October. After my first try outs, they asked me to join. Now I love the people and coaches there and I couldn’t imagine my life without them. I played Surrey League for most of my time at VBDC. However, we then joined the National League and players were picked for the teams for the Grand Prix National. I was fortunate enough to be able to play for both the U18 and U15 teams. Our U18 team was not as successful as our U15. Nevertheless, we pushed our way through the tournaments until the finals. We placed second in the National U15 girls, and we are very proud of it.
How do you feel about the team’s recent success?
Even though I don’t think that this is that big of a deal, I know how hard my team trained to get into the finals. I am so proud of how far my team got as we had some new players recruited from other teams as well. Our team formed a very strong bond during this tournament. We know each other's weaknesses and strengths and we learned how to complement each other well in our training and game.
How did TASIS England support you in your sports achievements?
TASIS England was where I first started volleyball and where I first realized that it was more than just a school sport. Marcin Końpa was my TASIS coach each year, and was actually the one who suggested that I should try to do volleyball outside of school so I could get ready for next year's team.
What would you say are the benefits of participating in a team sport more competitively in a sports club?
It definitely gives you life-long bonds. In a team sport, you almost always train with a wide variety of players, and you can learn a lot from others or ask other players on your team for help. To be honest, the biggest benefit of playing a team sport or doing a sport more competitively is that you will probably feel more confident as you win and lose as a team.