Çisel is originally from Istanbul and came to the United Kingdom about 15 years ago. She has continued to follow her favourite sport in England: Volleyball. How delighted she was to see her home country, Turkey, produce some of the top class women’s teams in the world such as VakifBank ISTANBUL, the current CEV Champions League titleholders, Eczacibasi VitrA and Fenerbahce Opet, who have won Europe’s premier competition as well.
After encouraging pupils at the school where she used to work, about three years ago, Çisel decided to enter the adult London Volleyball League at second division level to move into adult sport, calling the club she formed, “Little Giants”. A Giants women’s team followed as did success. With the current season approaching its climax, the men’s team is unbeaten and leads its division while the women’s teams that have joined Giants Men are top of their divisions too.
However, a healthy club relies on much more than success on court and Little Giants encourages its youngest players so, in addition to the adult teams, it enters London competitions for players under fifteen years old with some twenty players available for selection.
The club also organises competitive tournaments throughout the year at the renowned Copper Box Arena, one of the great facilities built for the 2012 Olympic Games and at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre, another one of the biggest arenas in London. For example, the ‘12 hour Volleyball tournament’ that has taken place at the Copper Box Arena on March 31 has attracted as many as 150 keen Volleyball players.
Asked why she wanted to work so hard to develop Volleyball in London, Çisel replied, “I currently volunteer for London League as the League’s Competitions Secretary where it helps me understand the needs to improve the sport and identify steps to take towards developing the sport that we love. Furthermore, I come from Istanbul where the city is home ground for many world-class women’s teams and at Little Giants, we always try to replicate the same qualities and expertise that I gained from Turkish Volleyball. Volleyball is growing in England at a good pace and we are convinced that the future for the sport is bright. Whether a beginner or a competitive league player, we do our best to provide all with suitable training.”
To find out more about the club, visit www.volleyballevents.org.