How it became
“VolleyAll” is a place for everyone to play.
The program was founded by Maroondah Volleyball club innovator Catherine Gordon on a philosophy of inclusive access for all – no matter what your ability or disability. It focuses on removing barriers to play, through creative and adaptive delivery so that anyone across the local area can share in the joy of volleyball, be part of the Maroondah volleyball community and connect with others.
Catherine developed the program in response to demand from players with differing needs. It is delivered in parallel with the association's wide suite of other volleyball services. Participants wear the same uniforms, share similar milestones as their peers, and are offered pathways for progression as opportunities arise. For example, Spikezone. This format encourages multiple opportunities to promote positive learnt behaviour, by modelling and reflecting the efforts of those around them.
Catherine has a passion for inclusion and draws on her work and learnt skills to tailor the program. Classes are grouped in a ratio of 10 participants to 1 coach + 1 assistant. Catherine has shared this knowledge, training additional coaching staff to help support the program and deliver services at Special Development Schools in the area.
Include warm up game, gross motor skill circuit, simplified or adaptive skills drills, 1 on 1instruction, activities across the net, and game play.
Are 45 minutes. Parents can choose to participate or have a break.
Can be billed through NDIS or privately.
Use a diverse range of engaging, sensory and colourful equipment in addition to adjustable nets, Spikezone/primary school balls, to encourage movement and participation.
Have a sensory tub and timers to allow for short time out, reset and refocus periods.
Vision board with cue cards to assist with communication and to minimise overload.
In addition to the classes, families are encouraged to connect through the VolleyAll coffee cart and once a term information sessions. The players receive a free hot chocolate and parents can have a free coffee or tea. This is supported by local businesses and fosters additional sharing, support and connections. Through these connections Catherine identifies potential areas of need and seeks guest speakers once a term to enhance knowledge and build capacity across the families and community.
The welcoming and inclusive environment Maroondah has, also sees some members with extra needs thrive in other pathways of the game such as officiating, volunteering, and coaching which directly strengthens the club as a whole.
The Association offers a vast range of additional volleyball options including Spikezone, Sporting Schools, Tournaments, State League, Local and Social Leagues, and has trialled sitting volleyball.
Where to next – the Association hopes to trial a wheelchair version of the sport in the near future.