The Foundation commissioned and published a new book for Coaches by Thomas Dowens MBE, the former Scottish Men's Team and professional development coach. for the Scottish Volleyball Association it is available in both printed and e formats. All profits from the book will be covenanted by the Foundation to the Scottish Volleyball Association (SVA) to support the development of junior and grassroots volleyball in Scotland.
  The Foundation commissioned and published a new book for Coaches  by Thomas Dowens MBE, the former Scottish Men's Team and professional development coach.for the Scottish Volleyball Association it is available in both printed and  e formats. All profits from the book will be covenanted by the Foundation to the Scottish Volleyball Association (SVA) to support the development of junior and grassroots volleyball in Scotland.  
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Ruth Nicholls Volleyball Foundation


A committed PE teacher and volleyball player, Ruth was passionate about getting young people into sport. Ruth died in April 2007 after a five year battle against cancer.


Although Ruth grew up in a family of volleyballers, her dad Keith and mum Judith Nicholls were both international players, Ruth and her sister Hannah did not take up the game until their mid teens. Starting with Whitefield in Bristol, Ruth then went on to gain selection to the England Junior Squad, captain Leeds Met and then Leeds VC in Division 1. Hannah played for Birmingham University and Norwich Ladies.


Shortly after she married Chris Gorse, Ruth was diagnosed with breast cancer. Despite several major operations and repeated chemotherapy treatments Ruth remained as active as she could and carried on teaching at Morley High School Leeds until Christmas 2006.


Ruth believed that all her students should be encouraged to participate in sport and activity no matter what their ability level. Through sport they would gain confidence, friends and improve their health.


Through her teaching she developed volleyball teams that participated in inter-school competitions and several players went on to play at higher levels.


Ruth’s family wish to carry on Ruth’s philosophy of encouraging participation, through a volleyball foundation set up in her name. The Foundation is used to encourage school and junior development at grass roots level in volleyball. 


In 2014 the Ruth Gorse Academy opened in Leeds. The Gorse Educational Trust writes,

"We named the academy in honour of Ruth Gorse (nee Nicholls) who was a brilliant head of PE at the Morley Academy and prior to that,at the King's School Pontefract. She was an inspiration to all who worked with her and her death in 2007 robbed education of a dedicated teacher who placed no limitations on what students could achieve.All of us who worked with or knew Ruth loved her dearly"



The Ruth Gorse Academy is the base for Leeds Gorse Volleyball Club. The Gorse Trust employs professional volleyball coaches who work in all the schools in the Trust, teaching and developing volleyball. The Trust organises a volleyball league for all its school. Players feed into the Leeds Gorse Volleyball Club. A unique example of a school and club working together to provide volleyball opportunities for young people. Something Ruth would have been proud of.


The Foundation has developed the MULTISPORTBASE. A unique piece of equipment that is endorsed by Volleyball England for Volleyball up to Key Stage 2 and for sitting volleyball. It can also be used for short tennis and badminton in schools. Full details on the Multisport base page


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