A North Tyneside teacher is now one of the highest qualified coaches in the north east.
Steven Anderson, a PE teacher at Whitley Bay High School, has achieved his Federation of International Volleyball Level 2 Coaching qualification with the help of bursaries from Tyne & Wear Sport and Sunderland University.
The qualification means he is now knowledgeable of the most modern trends of the game and able to coach advanced level teams.
He said: “I’m thrilled to have completed my coaching qualification. I’m keen to support the development of volleyball in the north east by trying to get as many young people trying the sport as possible.
“I’m therefore hugely grateful for the support of both Sunderland City Predators and Tyne & Wear Sport, who both contributed to the funding of my course.
“Completing the course has given me a great insight into the workings of a professional team.
“At the moment I am coaching the ladies team at Sunderland City Predators with aspirations to take them to the highest level in this country.”
Anderson got his start in the sport by chance with a team in Middlesbrough before starting to play as a member of Team Northumbria at Sport Central on the university campus.
He was then selected to play with the England team where he gained six caps over two years.
He continues to play with Team Northumbria where he will be starting his sixth season with them.
Anderson attended the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering for a gruelling 13 days of coaching and assessment.
The course was led by renowned US tutor Sue Gozansky, and she was supported by a number of Volleyball England experts in areas such as refereeing, physical training and conditioning, beach volleyball and sitting volleyball.
Ruth Nicholson, coaching development manager for Tyne & Wear Sport, said: “We’re very pleased to have been able to support Steven to gain this qualification.
“Our coaching bursary aims to create new or better qualified coaches in Tyne and Wear which helps to ensure the quality of community sport in our area remains high in clubs across our area.”
Samantha Jamieson, Volleyball England relationship manager for the north east, said, “This is a fantastic achievement for Steven and we’re very lucky to have such a highly qualified coach working in the area not only with Sunderland City Predators but also in his role as a PE teacher at Whitley Bay High School.
“Steven is a brilliant role model as both a player and coach and we look forward to supporting his future progress.”