Building a legacy for volleyball within the Filipino Community in the United Kingdom

This 2018, Pinoy Londoner Volleyball Club is 9 years old. They celebrated recently their 9th year anniversary at the Copthorne Tara Hotel in Kensington, London. Aries Nuñez founded the club back in 2009 and currently running it as both President and Coach after completing the UKCC Coaching Course in May 2010. The club is affiliated with Volleyball England.

The objective of the club is to promote the playing of volleyball in the community, bringing Filipino athletes and the local community together to foster a distinctive culture of excellence by integrating sport, training and competition. The club has matured over the years and is not only open to Filipino athletes but to all volleyball enthusiasts in the UK.

Pin Lon Spikers is the team representing the club in tournaments. It now has men, women and mixed teams. Their very first appearance was in the 2009 International Volleyball Festival Mixed Division 3 where they won the Silver medal award. Their success in this tournament boosted their confidence and they started to join other tournaments.

With the club’s home court located at Roehamption Sports and Leisure Centre in the South of London, Pin Lon Spikers actively participated in the South London Volleyball tournament from 2009 up until 2014. Pin Lon Spikers mixed team had a strong start becoming Division 2 Champions for two consecutive years (2009-2010 and 2010-2011 seasons) prior to moving to Division 1. Higher division means greater challenge but the Pin Lon Spikers team spirit didn’t falter; they were Silver medalist for another two consecutive years and finally obtaining the Championship trophy in the 2013-2014 season. Pin Lon Spikers womens team also had their own successes becoming the Premier League Silver medalists in 2012-2013 and Champion in 2013-2014.

Being a young team, their excitement and thirst to compete didn’t stop. Upholding the club’s objective and bringing the vibrant team spirit, Pin Lon Spikers continued to participate in the Filipino Community sponsored tournaments held all over the UK where both Men and Women teams became the undefeated Champions.

Apart from these Community challenges in 2013, Pin Lon Spikers also participated in the first London Barrio Fiesta Volleyball tournament and at the same time joined the Finchley Cup hosted by another club in London. In both tournaments, Pin Lon Spikers yet again brought home the Championship cup.

To share the success of the club, Pinoy Londoner Volleyball Club (Pin Lon VC) organized a special project in 2014, the Caravan Volleyball Clinic, in collaboration with two of the most successful and experienced coaches in Philippine Volleyball history – Coach Roger Gorayeb and Coach Odjie Mamon. Both coaches brought to the UK their many years of combined great coaching experiences. The achievements of both these coaches cannot be denied – receiving numerous gold medals in the higher leagues. The clinic were held in Reading, Surrey, London and Manchester. This initiative also received a warm welcome from the Philippine Embassy in London.

In 2015, the club represented Team Philippines Men’s and Women’s teams in the All Nation tournament in London with the motto – One Heart, One Goal, One Nation. Pin Lon Coach Json Okol led the Men whilst Aries Nunez led the Women. The teams were well supported by UK Filipino Community. The club also entered its Women’s team in the London Volleyball Association annual league.

Annual volleyball tournaments are organised by the club and gains from these events go to its beneficiaries – the Pin Lon Spikers team in London and children in poverty stricken areas in the Philippines.

The club has adopted a school, Zumarraga Central Elementary School in Samar and provides monetary assistance to Living Springs Christian Church who also helps children in need. This is the club’s simple way to help fight poverty, paying the school fees of 500 students, provision of sports equipment and providing funds to run sports developmental activities.

The club is hoping that these will help develop potential athletes with an aim of giving these students the opportunity to a brighter future. They could become varsity players and avail of scholarships in the top Universities.

Aside from the tournaments, the club provides training sessions every Sunday in their home court (Roehampton Leisure Centre, SW15 4JB) and is open to everyone, from novice to advanced. There are currently three coaches in the club who handle these sessions – Coach Amador Ty, Coach Json Okol and Coach Aries Nuñez.

Pin Lon VC also holds its annual Star Award and Charity Gala every 4th Saturday of May to commemorate their anniversary. This is to recognize individuals who contributed to the success of Pin Lon as well as using this as a venue for its annual Pin Lon Got Talent Finals where players from participating teams showcase their talent. Again, any proceeds from this Gala will be for the club’s beneficiaries.

This year, their anniversary theme was Theatre where three great singers took on songs from movies like The Greatest Showman and stage plays like Miss Saigon. The singers were Annielou Hernandez Leyva, Mervic Monocillo and Jose Conrad Hermoso. The Pin-Lon Got Talent winner, Chiqui Anis, also had a share of the stage singing Nosi Balasi and Hallelujah. The most awaited performance of the night was the dance performance of Pin-Lon Lady Spikers and the three coaches, in collaboration with the singers singing, “This is me”.

The club also recognised individuals that were part of Pin-Lon’s success. Inspiring people who are passionate to do good deeds and making a difference to the community in their own special way surround Pin-Lon. These are the officials, members, supporters, individual donors, volunteers, team leader and community leaders. Their good leadership and world-class humanitarian service, willingness to share their ideas and selflessly give time to help others is an inspiration to the club and its members.

Pin-Lon Community Leadership Award for “Building community partnerships to  advance the education, health, and quality of life of others” were given to loyal friends and supporters fo the group.

For more details about the club, you can visit their Facebook Page:

(Lanne Torres)

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