Scotland hires new beach volleyball coach with Volleyball Empowerment funding

CEV-FIVB : Infos ven 24 novembre 2023

Scottish Volleyball announced the appointment of Sarah Jankowitz as the new High-Performance Beach Head Coach and Programme Manager. The position is funded with coach support assistance from the FIVB Volleyball Empowerment programme.

Volleyball Empowerment has so far allocated a total of CHF 294,204 for Scottish Volleyball, CHF 127,500 of which has been directed to the country’s beach volleyball programme and labelled for coach support, knowledge transfer projects and equipment.

Sarah Jankowitz will continue to develop Scotland’s current High-Performance Beach Programme as Scottish Volleyball builds towards more high-level European and world competitions, as well as the Commonwealth Games in 2026. The main and immediate priority for Jankowitz will be coaching, developing and supporting their high-performance beach athletes. She will also have the responsibility for all aspects of their beach game and has been tasked with introducing policy, procedures and pathways to ensure growth from grassroots to performance and further develop their high-performance beach plan.

“After a long and robust appointments process, with full involvement and support from our partners FIVB and sportscotland, I am delighted to welcome Sarah to the Scottish Volleyball community,” said Scottish Volleyball CEO, Margaret Ann Fleming. “Sarah offers a very fresh, experienced and dynamic approach to our beach programme and I am very much looking forward to working with her as she develops our athletes, coaches, volunteers and officials over the coming months.”

Sarah Jankowitz was an NCAA Division 1 volleyball player for American University in Washington, DC, where she also coached at Metro Volleyball Club Washington DC. Her coaching career developed further in Northern Ireland and England before she took up coaching Northern Ireland’s beach volleyball programme in 2021. Her beach coaching debut was coincidentally in Scotland, at the 2014 CEV Continental Cup in Edinburgh. Since then, Jankowitz has attained her FIVB Level 1 beach volleyball coaching qualification and undertaken various professional development opportunities. Outside volleyball, she has a Master’s degree and a PhD degree from Trinity College Dublin and will be taking a career break from her position as Lecturer in Criminology at Queen's University Belfast while working for Scottish Volleyball.

“I am thrilled to be joining Scottish Volleyball at this critical point in the 2026 Commonwealth Games cycle. It is an incredible opportunity to work with a talented cohort of athletes and experienced volunteers and staff to drive the High-Performance Beach Programme forward,” Sarah Jankowitz said. “I look forward to getting to know the athletes and coaches over the coming weeks to prepare for what will be an ambitious 2024 training and competition calendar. In the longer term, we will be creating a pathway to support the development of the next generation of beach athletes and coaches to sustain the programme’s growth beyond the lifetime of this project.

“My passion very much lies in reflecting on and exchanging knowledge about coaching practice, and so I hope to facilitate learning opportunities for current and aspiring beach coaches to develop their skills and learn from other perspectives and styles internationally in a way that supports the longer term success of the programme. I am grateful to Scottish Volleyball for trusting me with this opportunity, which I know will not be without its challenges. I am also grateful for the lessons I have learned during my many years with Northern Ireland Volleyball, and to the athletes who have contributed so much to my growth as a coach. I am excited to support the Scottish athletes to reach their potential, and to discover the many ways I am sure I will learn from them.”

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