Last year was a massive one, and a hugely rewarding one, for the City of Edinburgh Volleyball Club, based at Queensferry High School.
Success was achieved at all levels, from the continuing encouragement and development of youngsters at grassroots levels right up to the senior men who entered European competition for the first time.
And the club’s contribution to sport in the Edinburgh area was recognised when it landed the sportscotland Local Club of the Year Award, a fitting way to round off the club’s 20th anniversary celebrations.
The club has won praise for its commitment and passion to create an environment where children of all ages and abilities can thrive.
Led by head coach Ian Brownlee, the club has increased participation in the sport by more than 100% in the past 18 months.
After experiencing clubs overseas in France and Finland, Brownlee was inspired to mirror their successful club style in Scotland.
Starting with the junior academy, children are encouraged to join the club from a young age with the Baby Volley programme for P1 to P4s where they can progress through the ranks into the senior teams.
Ian said: “I have met so many amazing people in my local community through my involvement at City of Edinburgh Volleyball Club.
“I have learnt so much from coaching, especially a team sport, that has really helped me develop and understand other people.
“We hope that youngsters get as much out of the sport as we do, helping them become more confident and making new friends whilst keeping fit at the same time.
“It’s a privilege to work with the team at City of Edinburgh and I am very proud of everything that we have achieved over the last year, especially since it was our 20th anniversary.
“Not only did we make history in the Scottish National Cup Finals by making it to all six major Finals, but our Men’s National League Team have entered the European competition for the first time.
“Winning the ‘Local Club of the Year’ is the perfect way to end 2016.”