On the web: Interview Bertelli - GB Women’s Volleyball Team get a helping hand!

Hear all about the GB Women’s environment at the South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service training centre, the support received and the thoughts of libero, Maria Bertelli. See the article below or go direct to the Team GB website. Continue reading

Posted in 2012, Media Coverage, Team | Tagged , , , ,

In the papers: GB Women open DFS in Sheffield

See the GB Women in the Sheffield and Doncaster Star (17.05.12) opening the new DFS store in Sheffield.

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Dfs Sheffield opens with the help of the GBW Volleyball Team

Early in the morning on Saturday 28th April, following the first tough two weeks of the summer 2012 programme, a number of the GBW team were in Sheffield city centre to help open the new DFS store.  With cups of tea and coffee on offer while relaxing on a few of the brand new, and incredibly comfy sofas, Carter and Bertelli peppered casually over an arm chair while Captain Beattie went to work cutting the ribbon in her very first store opening.

The team is back based in Sheffield for the majority of the build up to July and we are really excited and grateful to be able to be back in our adopted home.  The city has looked after the team so well over the last 5 years in so many regards and for the players, being able to come back to that support network and familiarity after playing in different European clubs each season, is priceless. Continue reading

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BLOG: Physio Jemma Oliver

Sheffield Hallam University provide great sports science support for the GB Women’s team. Working alongside Alison Macfarlane, physiotherapist Jemma Oliver will be helping to ensure the team are fit and healthy when they arrive in London in July. Over the next couple of months, Jemma will be blogging about her work with the team…check out her first blog by clicking on the image below!


Posted in 2012, Performance Support | Tagged , ,

VIDEO: GB Women start with victory over World no.17

Almost exactly one year after the GB Women’s tour of South America, the girls faced world-ranked #17 Peru, this time on home turf.  Despite competitive performances last summer GB failed to take a win and were out to turn the tables last week and the first official match of the Olympic Summer could not have gone any better.

The English Institue of Sport in Sheffield hosted the first match between Peru and GB on Tuesday May 1st.  Both teams came out firing but it was the Peruvians who pulled away behind the tough serving of Rueda, taking the set 17-25.  The second set was point-for-point, with GB demonstrating some fantastic blocking that would continue throughout the match.  GB pulled ahead at the end to take the set 25-23.  In the third set, Rachel Bragg, who had been a force at the net, came out for GB newcomer Savannah Leaf, who went on to be a key contributor in the match.  The teams traded points well past 25, with GB facing match points against them, but not backing down until they’d clinched the set 32-30!

The fourth set got away from GB early, with Peru winning it 17-25, and taking the match to a fifth and deciding set.  The GB women regained control of the match and demonstrated a courage and determination that Peru no longer seemed able to muster.  GB won the set 15-11 and the match 3-2, making history with their first defeat of Peru.  A fantastic start to the 2012 summer program!

CLick here to see the highlights video:

In the second match of the week, GB hosted Peru on Thursday 3rd May at All Saint’s High School.  The GB women came out strong in the first set, but Peru picked up their serve receive and made some effective changes to handle the GB offence.  After a fantastic start, GB fell behind as the set went along, losing 22-25.  Sets 2 and 3 were not as close; although GB demonstrated some spectacular plays, the sets were checkered with too many unforced errors to keep up with the South Americans.  The second and third sets were both lost 15-25, GB losing the match 0-3.

Overall it was a fantastic start to this huge Summer with a big result on the board and an invaluable opportunity to compete and for the team to continue learning on their path to the Olympics.

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The girls are back in town…..

With just over 100 days to go the GB Women’s Volleyball Team returned to Sheffield to start their final Summer of preparations before the London 2012 Olympics. They have been training hard and undergoing rigorous physical testing in the last two weeks.

Check out this Video Diary to see what we have been up to:

The girls are back in town…..

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GBW take on PERU in Olympic Warm Up matches…

The GB Women have been re-united and are ready to take on the worlds best, starting next week against world number 17 PERU…

The Great Britain Women played against Peru in a series of 4 competitive matches during their tour of South America last summer.  This time Peru are coming to Sheffield for a re-match in preparation for their Continental Olympic Qualifier next month.

This will be ideal opposition for the GBW as they commence their final phase of Olympic Preparations with the added bonus of the chance to catch a sneak preview of potential Olympic Opposition.

Peru will join the GBW for a 4 day training camp next week, with an official International match taking place on Tuesday.

Date: Tuesday 1st May 2012
Time: 7pm
Venue:  EIS, Sheffield

We spoke to the GBW Head Coach, Audrey Cooper, about the summer ahead of the matches next week against Peru:

Head Coach - Audrey Cooper

We have a big summer ahead of us with two major tournaments, the Olympic Games and the European Championship Qualifiers. After watching the players from afar over the winter, it is great to have them back in sheffield. After one week of training it is good to see the improvements, appetite and determination of all the players. I am excited about the prospects of this team reaching its full potential and delivering our style of play on the court. Competition for places is high as we embark on the final stretch of this amazing journey. It all starts next week with competition against Peru… Bring it on.


Come along and support the GBW as their Olympic summer gets underway.  Every match counts in order for them to be the best they can be in just under 100 days time, when they play their first match at Earls Court at the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Posted in 2012, Competition, Keep Our Dream Alive, Team | Tagged , , , ,

Bertelli’s raw feelings…”It hurts to lose but there’s nothing better than winning”

GB Libero Maria Bertelli has just returned to the UK after a successful season for her Swiss club Volley Koeniz. In any season, the end is when the big matches come around and the pressure is on. There were 2 huge matches for Maria over the last 2 weeks, one a disappointing loss and one a medal win, here she talks immediately after each match on the raw feelings of winning and losing….this is a real insight into performance sport..enjoy the read!

Oh yes, it hurts to lose
Wow…..where to start, go from buzzing like a bee to as flat as a pancake.

Today was a huge game, the last game of the play-offs…we were in 3rd place going into the match against the 2nd placed team, NUC. We win the match 3-0 or 3-1 and we make the play off final. The atmosphere in the team before the match was different, I could sense a real belief and determination in the players. We have been ‘nearly’ a few times this season and I really felt today that this was our moment. The players had took responsibility for knowing the opposition, what they do and how best we can counter that. That gave us a bit of added confidence, on top of the desire that was obvious.

We lost the first two sets, NUC celebrated, they knew they were in the final. It hurt, seeing them when I really believed we would be the team that made it through. So, individually we now have to choose whether we show some pride, try to win the match even though we now can’t make the final or want to get out of there as quick as possible.

Some people would say that it doesn’t matter, today was about winning through to the final…once we can’t do that, what does it matter. There’s a part of me that would agree…today was about winning and being on that court knowing we didn’t make the final, it was one of the last places I wanted to be. The other part of me was saying you have the chance to finish your performance, you are a professional, you can still win the match, here’s a huge challenge..fall or rise? I’m happy to say I and we responded and won the 3rd set, we competed in the 4th but NUC were better. I guess that sums it up really, NUC were better than us today. They had 2 plans…one, to counteract us and one to score…they executed them both well.

When you really believe it hurts the most!

My feeling right now…angry, disappointed, flat, numb, empty and tired. It’s like when you are a child, you build yourself up to getting a new present, you’ve been thinking about it for weeks and then it’s not what you wanted or you’re not allowed to play with it. When you really want something and believe you’re going to get it, that’s when it hurts the most. But, this is sport….you have these times & the challenge is to be mentally strong, to respond. The anger is still too much to think rationally right now, that’s for tomorrow….when I will review the match, my own performance, take the good stuff & start preparing for the 3rd/4th place play off next Sunday. I mean what more motivation than the chance to win a medal?!

That winning feeling……there is nothing better!
After the disappointment of not making the playoff final, it was a best of 3 series for 3rd/4th place. It’s one of those matches where you just don’t want to lose…coming 4th is horrible, may as well be 8th ( I know because we were 4th last year). This year, the feeling from the team going into this series was completely different….we were determined to win, the energy was high and I could sense our desire was more than the opposition. That’s massive at this stage of the season…you are not in the final, the end is near; physically and mentally players are very drained and performing at your best in these situations is very difficult…but it’s often when it matters most!

The winning point....

We did it the hard way last night, losing the first set, winning the next two and then losing the 4th 25-17 but in the 5th coming back to win 15-8. I really enjoyed the match….it was one of those situations where you know every ball will count. We were 13-7 up in the 5th set but I couldn’t let myself think we had won. Maybe one more reception for a sideout, trying to stay focussed not because I thought we could lose but because I wanted to finish my own performance. We won the set, the match and the bronze medal with an attack through zone 2 and the usual bunny rabbit celebration from me came out. Honestly, I cant explain this feeling….but I will try…..

The immediate feeling on the court is of celebration, knowing that we got the win we all wanted and everyone is just all smiles, big high 5’s all round and everyone loves each other! Sat in the changing room, I have a big smile on my face…

…..for the team, seeing a unity. I re-see the look in people’s eyes that was determination, belief and sheer joy. Remembering the blocker telling me “I’m taking this ball Maz, right now”…..knowing at that moment, the whole team wanted the same thing and the only thing that mattered at that point was this one ball, the next action.

…..for some of my close friends here, who I know wanted it so much, gave their absolute all week in week out, and now look so happy!

VBC Koniz take the Bronze medal

…..for me, knowing that I delivered. Remembering that feeling of confidence, of being in control of your own state, of rising to the challenges that you put in your own way mentally and the opposition puts in your way technically. It’s pure satisfaction, a warm happy feeling inside, knowing that you were in difficult situations and you did it. I look at my medal, and whilst there’s the nagging bit of me that still wishes it was Gold, it brings a sense of reward. Reward for the hard work on and off the court, times when I make hard choices from silly things such as drinking a horrible recovery shake, going to bed early, to missing my family or putting a career on hold. Winning makes all these things worth while.

Tiredness mentally and physically then kicks in. After a couple of skype conversations to share the win with the people you care about, sleeping wasn’t a problem last night (unlike the few days before). 

I’m not sure, I managed to describe how winning feels…if you know it, you will recognise it! Obviously, had we lost that match…the feelings would have been completely different, even if my performance and teams was the same. It just goes to show that winning is that something special that you just cannot buy!

This morning I woke up and that content feeling is still there. We have that win, I have a medal and no-one can take that away but perspective starts to kick in. I feel energised but shattered, enjoy the result but that was yesterday…now time to think forward, to think GB, to plan the next 14 days of rest, recovery and fitness before I begin the summer of a lifetime.


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