Despite the high participation rates of girls in volleyball, women are underrepresented in decision-making roles such as administrators, coaches, and referees. This hinders girls' leadership development and ability to influence their environment. To address this issue, a project aims to increase the autonomy and leadership skills of 16–20-year-olds, particularly girls, and increase their participation in leadership positions.

The project

The project We Lead Volleybal Together (WLVT) has three objectives:

1) enhance autonomy and leadership skills of youth aged 16-20;

2) increase youth participation in volleyball;

3) stimulate knowledge transfer about youth involvement in decision-making roles in volleyball.

An integrated approach ensures sustainable change, combining training for youth, mentors, and facilitators and connecting role models and board members of clubs and federations.

A strong network

The project's output includes 8 educated national facilitators, 27 participating volleyball clubs across four countries, 37 club mentors, and 141 young leaders aged 16–20 (at least 60% women). Additionally, there will be 34 events in school, club, or community settings, with 1,600 participating youngsters aged 13–15 and 9 in schools (classes). Finally, 14 educated role models, primarily female, will be involved. Impactful communication and open-source tools are scalable and applicable throughout the EU.

The timeframe

In the short term, local mentors and national role models will recruit and mentor young leaders. In the medium term, more activities will meet the needs of 13–15-year-olds. More awareness will be created among youth, clubs, schools, and federations about female leadership and youth participation in decision-making roles. In the long term, increase young leaders in sports, active youth participation, and more gender-balanced boards, coaches, and committees in volleyball.


Partner organisations are Volleyball Federations of the Netherlands (Lead), Norway, Iceland and Denmark.


Cem Tinaz (

Andrea Emara (