We have officially entered to a really exciting time of the semester. The time where we start counting down for Derby Day and getting ready for a day of sports, drinks and fun. It is also an important and a hectic time for the BUCS season as well. So talking to sports teams and being a part of their excitement and hard work is crucial.

I have always been a fan of volleyball. I was not really successful at it even though I was only playing for fun (but trying still counts I guess?), but as a sports lover, watching volleyball is one of the best things.

When I met with a fellow Turkish friend and learned that she is a part of UEA’s Volleyball team, I thought that I had to interview them before the year ends. So here we are. For this issue of Concrete, after a long Christmas break, I decided to interview Charlie Naadland, Social Secretary of UEA Women’s Volleyball team, and talk about their ongoing season, how they are getting ready for Derby Day and what it feels like to be a part of a sports team.

So if you want to learn more about UEA Women’s Volleyball team and support them for the rest of the season, keep on reading. And again, Derby Day is fast approaching so keep an eye out on the Sports pages for more interviews and details about the teams and the event.

How is the season going for you so far?

The season so far has been absolutely amazing. In BUCS, the Women’s Volleyball team has been dominating and playing so well. We have won all games but one, and in our regional tournaments we have been doing really well and been aiming to finish 1st in every competition. We are now preparing for Student Cup, which is our biggest tournament of the year, and we are beyond excited.

Derby Day is fast approaching, and this year it will be at UEA, which is always special. How are you getting ready for it?

Derby Day is going to be amazing. It was extremely fun last year and now that it is in Norwich it is going to be even more fun. We know that we have a very hard game coming up, as the Essex Volleyball team is amazing, but we will try our best and no matter it will be a great match.

Can you describe what being in a team feels like?

Being in a team is one of the greatest feelings in the world. It allows you to have an entire new family of people that you know will love and support you on and off the court. Being a part of this team makes me value team work both in a sporting environment and academically.

During your home matches, do you feel like you are getting enough support from other UEA students?

Our home matches are my favourite matches, because we are able to invite whoever we want to come watch and support us. We always have a full bench of the team and the rest of the Volleyball club and Men’s team usually come and support us as well.

What are you looking forward to this season?

This season I am looking forward to improving as a volleyball player myself, but also to watch the team and I move forward in the volleyball world!

Do you have any “taster sessions” for people who are interested in volleyball but never tried it before?

We do have taster sessions! We have Wednesdays from 5-6:20 for members, and then we have 7-8:20 on Sunday evenings for drop-in members!

What is the hardest thing about being in a sports team?

The hardest thing about being on a sports team is definitely the balancing of university life as well having a social life. But once you get the hang of that, everything else works out very smoothly. It is very challenging at first, but with the help of supportive teammates and supportive friends from courses, it makes the challenge worth it. It also helps that volleyball is doing so well and it is something that I want to spend my time on.


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