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Riga AGM 2022 – Summary & President’s Award

Yesterday, Saturday 13th August 2021, we hosted our Annual General Meeting. It was the first time since Covid that we were able to hold our AGM in person. We’re incredibly thankful for the success we built for the club in the last 12 months and for the number of people who joined us.

The full PDF of the annual report is here.

Highlights of the 2021-2022 season:

  • Our Men NVL team had a successful season, and they were promoted to Division 1.
  • Our Women 2 NVL team also had a fantastic season in Div 3 Central, and have now been promoted to Division 2 North.
  • Women 1 had a fantastic season in Division 1, finishing mid-table.
  • After winning the award in 2020, this year we were runner-up for the Volleyball England Club of the Year award.
  • We’ve seen year-on-year interest growth in the club, demonstrated by the sheer volume of enquiries in the last 12 months.
  • The men’s team has had healthy player numbers, and as a result, in the new season we’re starting a new Men NVL Division 3 team, which will also support our junior development programme.
  • Marta will be focusing on playing rather than coaching next season, so she’s taking a step back from coaching the men’s team. Mike Grainger will be coaching them instead (as well as the new Div 3 team). Div 3 team will be coached at matches by Chris Jones.
  • Our junior programme has been at full capacity since starting it. This year, the advanced juniors have gone to multiple national competitions (Junior Grand Prix) and have had fantastic success.
  • A few of our members have been involved with the Commonwealth Games, including Alex Smith, Clare Francis, Chris Jones and our juniors who have been raking and catching balls at the Beach Volleyball games. As a club we also ran taster sessions for the public throughout the CGs.
  • The recreational sessions are at full capacity and increasing in demand.
  • We’re also seeing an increase in the number of beginner adults who are interested in trying out the sport
  • This year we’ve hit 6 of our 11 objectives from our 5-year development plan, while 2 others are in progress.
Chris and Warren with the league promotion medals and award for the Men’s team.

Your newly appointed 2022/23 committee:

  • Chairperson: Mim Anderson
  • Treasurer: Clare Francis
  • Secretary: Iulia Protesaru
  • Men Team Manager: Chris Jones
  • Women 1 Team Manager: Sophie Zillmann will stay in position until we identify someone else to take over the role
  • Women 2 Team Manager: Bow Taylor
  • Recreational Session Manager: Jan and Lee Grafton, Luismi García (Welcome all!)
  • Club and Junior Development Officer: Jon Chetham
  • Events Manager: Sophie Zillmann

President’s Award:

This year we had a record amount of submissions and it was fantastic to see how many people are beign recognised as impactful to those around them and the club! Thank you all for your nominations!

🥁 Brendan Fawcett – The winner!

“Brendan Fawcett. Brendan has volunteered at nearly all the advanced junior sessions over the last year and has been a key part in our success of entering national junior competitions for the first time EVER as a club with the kids being successful and massively raising our profile as a junior club. He helps plan and run sessions and has travelled with us to all comps picking up kids and coaching when we’re there. That support has been invaluable to making it happen. He has also stepped up to be chaperone so that a group of our juniors can be Courtside Assistants at Birmingham 2022. Not only is he giving up his time during the Games to support this but also to attend and organise all the training in advance for our young people. He has taken on all the admin side of organising this too. It’s a phenomenal opportunity for our juniors to be inspired that they are getting due to Brendan’s commitment.
All round an amazing level of support from someone new to our Club that we should be massively grateful for (and from my personal perspective he’s been a life saver too where I’ve really valued his input and support every week 😍)”

Brendan – He’s stepped up to be Clare’s right hand at the junior sessions, coaching them, assisting the sessions, taking them to games, chaperoning at the B22 games… He’s dedicated to the sport and is showing up for Riga…

Congratulations Brendan!

The rest of the amazing nominations:

Clare Francis

Clare because without her we’d be at a standstill. I can’t tell if this was her most busy year to date, but my god this woman is a force of nature – she’s taken the advanced juniors and coached them, got them to compete, got them to work as a team… She’s diligent, proactive, gets things done…

Clare! For being overall fantastic and always taking care of us and the juniors.

Chris, Clare, Jules – all equally worthy for hours and hours of volunteer work, and skill.

Clare. She’s been a great coach and encouraged every one of us into reaching out our full potential

Clare Francis – for her relentless enthusiasm and commitment to the juniors!

Clare Francis – outstanding contribution to the running and development of the club

Clare/Juls…you r both amazing!


Chris, Clare, Jules – all equally worthy for hours and hours of volunteer work, and skill.


Jon because he’s put in a load of extra time, coaching the beginner juniors and organising them to go to competitions and supporting them there. None of this is a small task! And that’s on top of the time spent at NVL training.


she is one of the most dedicated people in this club, helping with the trainings and having incredible volleyball abilities” Jon, Clare and Brendan. Jon because he’s put in a load of extra time, coaching the beginner juniors and organising them to go to competitions and supporting them there. None of this is a small task! And that’s on top of the time spent at NVL training.


Chris, Clare, Jules – all equally worthy for hours and hours of volunteer work, and skill.
Jules — support with rec sessions and the club in general
Clare/Juls…you r both amazing!

Kat. K

For playing both women first team, second team and juniors and stepping up to the challenge in all these matches) 🙂


As they have always been such a nice and encouraging team player, and are always looking out to be helpful.


Mike helped a lot witch coaching both men’s and women’s teams whenever other coaches could not be there. Great team leader on and off the court. As I wanted to retire 🤣🥳 he decided to take over, which I’m very thankful for!


He’s been improving a lot and has generally just gotten better all skill wise

Alexandra Stockton

Showing a lot of commitment through the commonwealth, training hard and being a supportive team player


For organising and running the Recreational Sessions

Our big thank yous:

To all those who volunteered to make our sessions a success, as well as to those who volunteered at matches as line judges and scorers.

To Brendan, for being an amazing volunteer, showing up for every session, every game, and looking after the juniors & being Clare’s right-hand man

To Marta for getting the men’s team through 2 consecutive promotions

To Zofia for her coaching debut with the Ladies 2 team, and getting them through promotion!

To Clare for all she does for the club, including her latest success with the advanced juniors teams

To Jon for all the years of coaching the ladies’ teams and now for also leading the coaching of beginner and intermediate juniors

The Women 2 team with their league promotion medals and award. From left to right: Lucía, Bow Taylor, Iulia Protesaru (Jules), Kat, Clare Francis, Zofia Garajova

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