ELITE volleyball is preparing to be served up at Essex University for the first time in its 60 year history.

Tendring Volleyball Club men's and women’s first teams have been brought into the Essex Rebels family for the 2022-23 season.

The sides will play in the Essex Sport Arena on the University’s Colchester Campus, competing in the National Volleyball Super League, England’s highest level for volleyball teams.

The volleyball teams will join the highly regarded Essex Rebels men’s and women’s basketball teams, who compete in the Men’s National Basketball Division 1 and Women’s British Basketball Leagues.

The Essex Rebels franchise brings together University of Essex teams, and the volleyball acquisition comes hot-on-the heels of the men’s student side making the national championship final of the British University and College Sports competition.  

Vice-Chancellor of the University Prof Anthony Forster said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our exceptionally strong relationship with Tendring Volleyball has led to the men’s and women’s teams competing in the National Super League as Essex Rebels.  

“This provides a great platform for a strengthened partnership with amazing grassroots, community-led volleyball club.”

The move was also welcomed by the Chairman of Tendring Volleyball Club Alex Porter, from Frinton, who believes the collaboration will unlock the potential of future stars.  

He said: “Tendring has worked hard over the last 30 years to develop volleyball in the local area with noticeable success stories including National Super League titles and multiple National Trophy wins, it’s now time to think even bigger. 

“The evolution of the Essex Rebels will allow the Super League teams to put Essex on the map, not just for the teams’ results but also for having the best supporters in the country.”

Director of Sport at the University Dr Dave Parry, who said it was an “exciting development” for sport on and off campus.

He said “The formation of Essex Rebels volleyball teams is a hugely positive and exciting development for sport at the University. 

“Our Essex Rebels basketball teams have gone on to success in professional leagues, and our award-winning matchday entertainment now attracts hundreds of fans each game from both the University and local communities, whilst our junior and community outreach programmes engage thousands of local children.”