The Army women's volleyball squad is looking to build on its recent success and prove that it's no longer a 'men's sport' within the service.

More female soldiers than ever are taking up the activity to keep fit and the Army is hoping that could boost the team's on-court aspirations.

It's now hoped that more units will form teams and bolster the Army Championships. The team's manager, Major Orianne Moxon-Wiggins, said:

"In the past it was definitely a men's competition and there just weren't enough females from different units to enter a team but [in] the last two years we've had [new] teams coming in."

Members of the side have been on hand in Aldershot to help novice players into the sport with beginners' training sessions,  teaching them the basics.

It's hoped that some could represent the Army in the future if they catch the volleyball bug.

Maj Moxon-Wiggins said at this early stage, many of the drills are familiar to some if they've played other ball sports.

British Army women's volleyball team

She said: "There's a lot of sports out there where your general agility [and] athleticism is transferrable.

"Netball is a key example. We've got a lot of girls who come from Army Netball, and sometimes we lose girls to Army Netball.

"The height, the ability to jump, the hand-eye coordination and all that sort of thing transfer well.

"Sometimes we acquire girls who maybe haven't made the starting teams in other sports, but they've got that base level standard of sportsmanship that we can really transfer into volleyball."

The Army has been the dominant force on the volleyball court in recent seasons, having enjoyed successive victories in the Inter-Services Championship and Crown Services Tournament.

Much of that success has been down to the drive and commitment of head coach Warrant Officer Class 2 Nikki Mead, who also trains the UK Armed Forces (UKAF) team.

British Army women's volleyball team

WO2 Mead, who was recently nominated for Official of the Year at the Army Sports Awards, said: 

"I take them all back to core skills. I'm trying to make them technically clinical players, trying to remove bad habits that people can pick up from playing on tour.

"It's a fun sport generally, people play it on the beach... [but] we're trying to make them more technical indoor players."

Those with sporting ambitions could end up representing the Army team or even the UKAF side, with many players also satisfying their competitive yearnings at unit-level.

Either way, the Army wants to show soldiers that volleyball is a sport for all.

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