Words by Rory Nicklin
On Sunday the 26th of March members of Team Sheffield Hallam overcame the odds to successfully perch themselves at the top of British Volleyball – winning the men’s super-8’s title – beating team Northumbria in a two legged final.
It was the proverbial ‘icing on the cake’ for Alex Jenkins, 21, and his side as they added to the BUCS championship title that had eluded Sheffield Hallam’s volleyball team since 2009 to record a historic double.
It was the first time the club had won the super 8 title and Jenkins (pictured above) who also picked up the MVP award, paid tribute to coach Keith Trenam. ‘He is the main reason we’ve had success’ the Sheffield Hallam student explained. ‘And why any player that has and will come through his coaching will continue to have success’ he continued.
Trenam was credited for his English player development philosophy on the social networking site twitter after the game and Jenkins explained why ‘He knows how to make players and get the best from them through technical coaching. I know personally that with Keith you continue to improve right up until the end of the season which is rare and why we’ve peaked at the end of the season and managed to win both titles.’
Keith, the performance and development coach at Sheffield Hallam University began his career as a volleyball coach when he joined the army and has successfully developed many Great British national players over the past.
Sheffield Hallam dropped just two sets on their way to victory despite going into the tie as underdogs in the two legged final – which was held at the National volleyball centre in Kettering. Team Northumbria were undefeated all season in both the BUCS competition and the domestic league until the finals. ‘Winning BUCS and the national league when perceivable Northumbria were better than us is a great feeling’ said Jenkins from Bristol.
With Sports Ball just around the corner Alex Jenkins looks a firm candidate to scoop the sportsman of the year award prize after successfully leading Hallam to their first volleyball BUCS title in five years and with almost all team members remaining at Hallam next year, it wouldn’t be unthinkable to see more silverware in their next campaign.