11:30 AM April 14, 2022
A Suffolk teenager has been awarded a bursary for his passion for volleyball and his commitment to setting up two clubs.
Joe Warner, from Bury St Edmunds, was awarded the bursary from the Ron Ames Memorial Sports Fund, a charity set up to try and give small grants to young people.
Ron Ames worked extensively with young people in sport, until he sadly passed away in 2017.
Dennis Tattoo, who was good friends with Ron, initiated the sports fund, and said: “The charity was really keen to support Joe, he is clearly doing a great job in local volleyball and is a worthy recipient of his bursary.”
The 16-year-old started teaching himself how to play volleyball by watching videos on YouTube and practicing at home by learning a skill, and then practicing with a volleyball and bucket.
He set up a volleyball club at his old school, King Edward VI in Bury St Edmunds, before joining Stowmarket Volleyball Club.
Joe said: “The more I played the more I loved the sport and focused on improving to play at a higher level.
“However, as I progressed, there was less and less available because of how small the sport is in the country, so I planned to try and change that.”
Joe set up another volleyball club at the school he now attends, Abbeygate Sixth Form College.
Joe said: “The money from the Ron Ames Memorial Trust will go a long way to helping purchase balls, equipment and covering for travel costs, which I plan to do more matches and competitions.
“My goal throughout has been to play more volleyball myself, but to also try and give others more options to enjoy the sport to the full extent.
I want to leave the sport at the school as an option, long after I am gone so others can enjoy it.”
Joe was presented with the award just 10 minutes before playing in the men’s Suffolk volleyball cup final. One of the presentation team, Mervyn Evans said: “Joe is a fine young man and is a thoroughly deserving recipient.”
Joe was nominated not only for his personal playing contribution to the club but also for his involvement in setting up two junior clubs at his school and also his involvement in developing the ‘Team Suffolk’ squad.