PlayVolley reaping the dividends of 15 years of work

Friday, September 10, 2010, 19:56

Earlier today, local volleyball club PlayVolley organised a very well presented press conference to launch the next phase in their volleyball history which now spans 15 years.

The press conference was addressed by PlayVolley School President Maria Demicoli and Mr Jonathan Cremona, Marketing Manager for Toyota Malta. Also present were vice-president Abigail Pearson, general secretary Diandra Caruana, coach Luca Randazzo and PlayVolley founder Alan Gauci.

Following a brief overview of the club’s history since its inception in 1995 Demicoli went on to outline her experience at the club’s helm in the past two years and her work with the rest of the council.

The club’s aim is to reach out to as many kids as possible and this year PlayVolley have set up a school to cater for kids aged older than 7 years of age. It is the club’s policy to keep its coaches updated with the latest trends and coaching methods and this is further aided by the fact that many of the coaches are qualified PE teachers. This year alone, almost 60 kids attended the summer school and the applications for the winter school are now open.

Demicoli added that “Volleyball is our means of helping children and youth prepare themselves for the daily challenges. We help them in character formation, punctuality, time management and how to be committed. For us volleyball is not just a sport but a way of life. This is what makes us different and for us this takes priority”. She went on to say that the biggest honours for the club are not only won on the field of play but when the club “manages to follow its 4 pillars which are: respect, education, loyalty and unity”.

Partnership with Pesaro Volley

For the past 11 years, PlayVolley has been taking its members overseas, primarily to Italy, to widen their horizons and enable them to grow in the game of volleyball. Demicoli announced that as a result of the strong ties that the club has built with a variety of Italian volleyball entities over the past years, they have struck a deal to become an official partner of Pesaro Volley, a club with a great tradition in Italian and European Volleyball.

The partnership with Pesaro Volley meant that the PlayVolley School has been set up on the same solid grounds as that of the Italian Champions who have provided the locals with a lot of material that enables the smooth running and management of the school. A contingent of senior and junior players from PlayVolley will be visiting Pesaro for a training camp in mid September in preparation for the forthcoming season. The aim of the club is to use this opportunity to lure Italian clubs to Malta to conduct training camps, coaching clinics and tournaments

Toyota Malta was later announced as an official partner of the PlayVolley School and was also unveiled as the school’s new website.


  1. Apollo says:


    I think that you made some valid points e.g. people who set up under 14 nets in the weekend

    To answer your points:

    Re what hurt the junior sector most: The decisiion taken by the MVA to allow clubs to participate without having at least 1 junior team. this was critical because instead of working hard to widen the base of juniors, today’s club administrators and senior players just turn up to play their game, attend their training sessions during the week without giving anything back. There was a rule that forced clubs to bring juniors into the game to be able to have senior teams, this was abolished last year because otherwise the male league would not have happened.

    this year there is a situation where there are 7 male clubs participating and if i’m not mistaken only 1 or 2 have a junior team. Is this beneficial?

    Re organising FIVB/CEV/International tournament I AGREE 100% that these should happen in Malta. BUT not at the expense of the local game. Are you aware of what happened in this year’s local beach volley championships? Do you know if these were concluded or not? Do you know that there were games that were postponed and never player? So basically the MVA organised an international tournament and did not give due importance to the local game …which incidentally only had 7 teams participating. If we want to be a beach volley hub as the FIVB suggested, then we must have a decent base and setup for beach volley, with a dedicated Beach Volley Commission working year round.

    I am 100% with you on the points regarding re-investment of funds recieved from these international competitions … nothing much to add, except that clubs who have junior teams should be the first to benefit from this financial and material aid. As things stand these clubs who work very hard to have junior teams have absolutely no incentive at all except to have a vote in the council meetings !

    Regarding a coaching course, we’ve heard of many “plans”, but it was only one of the relatively new local clubs that organised a junior coaching course last season ! The MVA hasn’t organised a coaching course for at least 4-5 years.


    ex Reply:

    @ Apollo
    If the MVA accepted that senior teams should participate without having Junior teams, that was a mistake, a huge one to be honest, because if i remember correctly, each and every team had to have a junior section otherwise they would not be allowed to play..whilst i tend to agree that there are pros and cons, I personally am more in favour of having junior teams, to make sure that the cycle of players is kept ongoing by everyone – not having the few people working on the younger ones, whilst other clubs whoever these might be, would simply poach away the best players.

    With regards to beachvolley, no had no idea about the local scene, so thanks for pointing it out – the sad thing is that there was no continuity from the foreign exposure to the local sphere.. it would be useless to have a one off tournament and then not reap off the ripple effects, unless it was just a ‘chess move’ to get more ‘help’ from the FIVB, which I presume, has found no accountability from anyone

    ..with regards to coaching courses, the MVA can apply for Olympic Solidarity courses which are paid in their entirety from the MOC – apart from that, it is not that difficult to get a coach over from Italy especially through the help of FIPAV, in terms of the junior section – what is obvious is that there is little to no interest from the MVA in terms of the junior section – it is something that the clubs should keep in mind when it comes to voting.. but experience has taught me from attending such MVA meetings / AGM that the representatives need to pull their socks up and for once think of Volleyball in its overall entity, rather than what applies to their own club.

    Yes, I know about the club which organised the mini-volley course, what is to be applauded is that they gave the opportunity to share their experience with all clubs, which was a first timer in Maltese Volleyball for many years as generally unless organized by MVA previous administrations, such courses/experiences were limited to the organizing club itself.. clubs and their representatives need to wake up to reality, at the end of the day, they have the voting power to oust out or reconfirm the present administration – the ball is at their feet. They just need to have the courage to do it – and believe me, have seen major upheavels throughout the span of years to last me a life time..


  2. ex says:

    @Apollo – Should you ever get the chance to read what the FIVB had suggested to Malta in a SWOT analysis is for Malta to become a BeachVolley hub. So in that respect, I would tend to agree with the MVA in organizing such International tournaments, not only for putting Malta’s name on the International Calendar, but dear me, also for the “help” which is given to each and every organizing body, be it financial or material wise. My question would tend to turn to ask, is this financial help being received being inputted back within the local scene, both at senior and especially at junior level? For how many years have a coaching course not been held here in Malta, even though such funds could be recuperated from the MOC Olympic Solidarity courses or possibly through KMS help? What investment is being carried out in the schools or even to benefit those clubs who are inputting their energies in bringing up the young ones? With regards to “those few who help the MVA organise events” and most would prefer to indulge in the Volleyball marathon/other tournaments (which are of the utmost importance as well) depends on what the priorities of the person who is helping out are. You cannot generalize everyone in one basket… there are a lot of people who help out in the running of events from behind the scenes and who do not blow horns about this issue – one memory that comes to mind is rigging up/dismantling the U/14 nets at 8am on a Sunday with a handful of people – not many people would stop to think about that for sure.
    Maybe you should specify which decisions have hurt the junior sector most, to make your point more understood instead of throwing a sweeping statement


  3. We are back from Italy where we had a great experience…

    It is so nice to find so many compliments via this site, email and sms. On behalf of all the council and members, I thank you all for your ongoing support.

    We will continue on our strategy to deliver the right volleyball experience to all those interested. We will keep on focusing on the 8-12yr old bracket to form a solid volleyball school. All our under 18’s will, as in previous years, play with one of our senior teams.

    Anyone needing more info is welcome to email us on

    Diandra Caruana
    Secretary, PlayVolley School


  4. stephen farrugia says:

    come and see me at cottonera when flyers div2 and u15 teams are playing. I have tried to write an reply to you but it takes too long to write and this site just will not accept them . please clarify the vague statement *it is also a reality that the junior leagues are uffering due to decisions taken in the not so distant past *
    I will try to reply to all your points except beach volley as i a not interested in that sector of volleyball. steve flyers


    stephen farrugia Reply:

    this reply is for mr apollo please. thanks steve


  5. stephen farrugia says:

    well done to playvolley.I was impressed with your web site, well done. You have seemed to have managed to gather a good group of coaches\staff to help you move playvolley forward. Hopefully with this new setup and sponsor it will enable playvolley to increase the number of teams in the junior sector as the last season and this one, playvolley failed to produce any u18 teams. keep up the good work.

    steve flyers.


  6. Volleyball observer says:

    Prosit Alan, Maria and all your team
    …a club with clear direction and strategy for youths and seniors. You might be interested in providing some much needed consultancy to the Malta Volleyball Association on how to organise its events.

    Sandro thanks for giving coverage to volleyball, it’s much needed. You may wish to conduct some investigative stories on local volleyball as there are some interesting things which the local press NEVER report. Well done for your site by the way :) …keep it up


  7. Toni says:

    Prosit Alan ta din il-holma li saritlek realta !

    Nawguralkom hafna success


  8. Apollo says:

    Now that’s a breath of fresh air in local volleyball … well done PlayVolley

    It’s funny how a club like this manages to organise a press conference to publicise its events etc, and the Malta Volleyball Association wasn’t capabale of doing the same for its Beach Volley tournament held last week !!

    Playvolley, you might wish to give some tips to the MVA on how to organise things properly !!!


    stephen farrugia Reply:

    The mva was capable of organising a good number of international events which enable our volleyball players to particpate in these international tournaments. they involve alot of work for those few who help the mva organise them. due to few members helping the pr section of mva is the one that suffers the most. I was sad to see a lot of negative comments on this site. things are moving forward for volleyball in malta . yes things could be better but volleyball is finally finding it feet again . the men senior sector has increased from 3 clubs to 7 this season. while the female sector has increased from 4 clubs to 9 clubs in just 2 years. yes most of these clubs are just starting but thats how playvolley and all the other clubs started . welldone playvolley the future looks bright.


    Apollo Reply:

    Mr Farrugia I agree 100% that a good number of international tournaments were organised and many more need to be organised.

    But how do you explain that the efforts this summer went to the organisation of an international beach volleyball tournament, while the local beach volleyball league was not given any importance and promotion with only a handful of players participating? Is enough being done for the local game or is it the glitzier international tournaments that are taking centre stage? On the otherhand, if these great events bring in the numbers towards the volleyball movement then so be it, but so far we haven’t seen tangible results in that respect.

    And while I also agree that having more teams in the senior league is great, it is also a reality that the junior leagues are suffering due to decisions taken in the not so distant past. How many male and female junior teams are there this season? And last season? I prefer having 3 senior teams and 9 junior ones than vice versa. Is there a focused strategy on juniors to grow the base of players in Malta?
    If we want to keep on participating in the “international events” that you mentioned, the investment should be made in the junior categories and not in the senior ones!

    With regards to your point of “those few who help the MVA organise” events … why do you think that this is happening, while there are tens of dedicated people who offer their help and participate in other events such as the volleyball marathon and other tournaments organised by individual clubs?


    ex Reply:

    Quote “PlayVolley, you may wish to give some tips to MVA on how to organize things properly” unquote… yes please also include directives given to players not to help MVA in any way, for which club member was suspended from the MVA.. at least this present MVA had the balls to suspend, whereas previous administrations did not, even for more serious offences..


Leave a comment