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POR: A place where Volleyball goes from generation to generation

by WoV
source: cev.lu; Photo: cev.lu

The Associação Académica de São Mamede is a place where the passion for Volleyball is being passed on from generation to generation. The strength of this club based in northern Portugal stems from the focus on youth – the boys have claimed the U16 and U17 national championship this year – and on the fact that Volleyball is a kind of family affair.

Training

Training

The history of this club spans through 66 years” says Volleyball Director Nuno Corte Real. “It is like a real family whose core values are friendship and fair play”.

Académica has won 21 national titles notwithstanding those claimed in mini Volleyball” continues Volleyball Coordinator Nuno Coelho. “The last season we won the U15 and U14 national titles with our boys and girls respectively. This shows that we are equally competitive in both genders. This is a very special club because anyone who joins it becomes part of a real family. Though our players may leave the club sometimes in their career, they never stop feeling a special connection with us. A good example if Carlos Teixeira who plays in France for Stade Poitevin POITIERS and calls us once a week to get the latest updates on the life and activities of our club, results, etc. The club has got a special place in his heart and he feels that bond with us”. 

Here Volleyball goes from generation to generation. “My children are already playing hereCoelho reveals, “and this applies to almost every single child of former players. I do not know if this comes from parental influence or it is some kind of a vocation. Our motto is “Sound mind in a soul body” and is well portrayed by special actions joined by all parents to help children in need by collecting toys, food and clothes”.

We work with about 180 kids playing mini Volleyball” says Clara Braga da Cruz, who is the mini Volley coordinator and also some kind of HR Manager. “We work with two groups of mickeys aged 3-4 and 5-6, for a total of 30 children. We have 100 in the A division and 25-30 in the B category. We need to invest in good coaches and have to work on building a strong relationship with their parents”.

I have been playing here for 5 years and it is a fantastic club where to build on friendship and good social values” says Tomas Correia, a member of the U15 team. “I feel well here and hope to win the national championship. The word that best describes my team is friendship”.

I have been here for almost 7 years” adds Raquel Pereira, a member of the girls’ U16 team. “The club has more and more athletes which is good to meet new people of different ages and also from different neighborhoods. I came through a friend of mine who was already playing here but anyone speaks really well about the club which makes sure that more people join it. It is amazing to be part of this family. We learn to play Volleyball, to socialize and live in a community sharing the same values”.

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