In a dramatic expansion of the University’s top sport offering Tendring Volleyball Club men's and women’s first teams have been brought into the Essex Rebels family for the 2022-23 season.
The high-performance sides will compete in the incredible Essex Sport Arena, on the University’s award-winning Colchester Campus in the National Volleyball Super League – England’s highest level for volleyball teams.
The Essex Rebels franchise brings together University of Essex teams and comes hot-on-the heels of the men’s student side making the national championship final of the British University and College Sports competition.
Now students can also compete in the apex of sports leagues in the country, alongside professional athletes.
The volleyball teams will join the highly regarded Essex Rebels men’s and women’s basketball teams in the franchise who compete in the Men’s National Basketball Division 1 and Women’s British Basketball Leagues.
Professor Anthony Forster, Vice-Chancellor of the University said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our exceptionally strong relationship with Tendring Volleyball Club launched in 1991 – and one of the most successful and vibrant volleyball clubs in the country – has led to the men’s and women’s teams competing in the National Super League as Essex Rebels.
“This provides a great platform for a strengthened partnership with amazing grassroots, community-led volleyball club.”
The move was welcomed by the Chairman of Tendring Volleyball Club, based in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex, who believes the collaboration will unlock the potential of future stars.
Alex Porter said: “Tendring has worked hard over the last 30 years to develop volleyball in the local area with noticeable success stories including National Super League titles and multiple National Trophy wins, it’s now time to think even bigger.
“The evolution of the Essex Rebels will allow the Super League teams to put Essex on the map, not just for the teams’ results but also for having the best supporters in the country.”
His thoughts were echoed by Dr Dave Parry, Director of Sport at the University of Essex.
He said “The formation of Essex Rebels volleyball teams is a hugely positive and exciting development for sport at the University.
“In recent years we have become one of the leading institutions in the U.K. for talented dual career students to continue both their academic and sporting pursuits.
“This has been led by our volleyball and basketball programmes, in which we have had teams that have enjoyed success in national championships in British Universities competitions, the first teams to achieve this in our history.
“Our Essex Rebels basketball teams have gone on to success in professional leagues, and our award-winning matchday entertainment now attracts hundreds of fans each game from both the University and local communities, whilst our junior and community outreach programmes engage thousands of local children.
“Welcoming volleyball teams into the Essex Rebels family is going to provide us with the opportunity to expand the work that we have been doing, enhancing campus life, and making a positive impact on the local community.”