From Russia with love for volleyball

Former professional volleyball player from Russian’s Super League Viktoria Glazewska lands head coach role for University of Derby women’s volleyball team

The Athletic Union association at the University of Derby has invested in a new head coach for the women’s volleyball 1st team.

Viktoria Glazewska, 33, from Chaddesden, started her coaching career at the University of Derby last year, when she was appointed to be a volleyball coach for the women’s 2nd team. Just a year after, she was promoted to head coach for the women’s 1st team.

The volleyball women’s 1st team currently stands in second place in their group table, winning five out of six games and qualified to the quarter finals of the Midlands Conference Cup competition, which takes place in February next year.

Viktoria is pleased with the current results, however her goals as a new coach are set much higher:

I have a lot of expectations from the university team and I want to make it more professional, for them to play at a higher level and I think the University of Derby has such good facilities it can make that happen”.

Suzy Stevenson, 34, is captain of the women’s team and one of the scholars. She has been with the team since 2015. She understands how important it is for the university team to be coached by a professional player, who can take volleyball at the university to a much higher standard.

She said: “Having Viktoria as a coach has changed the entire culture and approach of the team. Viktoria was a professional player so she understands what a professional program should look like. She understands the attitude and the level of effort you need to put in. We have gone from a group of girls, who want to train hard and have fun while playing, to a group of very focused girls who want to improve”.

Viktoria is originally from Minsk in Belarus, where she started her volleyball career at the age of 16. Soon enough, two years later, she was invited to join the National Team of Belarus. She continued to play there on a setter position for 12 years, during the breaks between seasons in the Russian Super League.

In the beginning of 2016, Viktoria moved to Derby, after finishing the season in the Severyanka Russian club, to retire and be with her now husband, Marcin, who lives and works in Derby.  In the same year, she signed up for the coaching course and received the qualification needed to start her coaching career.

Outside of university, Viktoria is also a volleyball coach for juniors, however her passion is to work with university students as she enjoys coaching people in a more competitive environment.

Viktoria’s passion to coach did not stop her from playing. The busy schedule is not a problem for a former Belarusian player. She now plays in the National league for a Derby city club called DARKSTAR, where she continues to impress with her skills.

The goals for the university season are set high. The women’s team is expected to win the league to promote into the next division and win the Midlands Conference Cup competition.

Craig Keggan, deputy head of performance sports at the university is positive about the upcoming games next year. He believes that the goals can be accomplished with the hard work and passion that the team have:

 Craig said: “Viktoria has brought a new level of competition to Derby. During the first half of the season, Viktoria and the girls showed the passion they have for the game. I am looking forward to the results at the end of the season.”