Sunday, 14 Jul 2024

Sitting Update: Grassroots Efforts Flourish

In April 2016, the Director for Sport Development, John Kessel, led about 50 Denver-area teens on a unique experience in sitting volleyball. This opportunity was made possible through the collaboration between the United States Olympic Committee and the Foundation for Global Sports Development, known as the Playmakers Program. The students had the chance to immerse themselves in various Olympic and Paralympic sports during their three-day visit to the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, with sitting volleyball being one of them.

During the program, Kessel and his team provided the students with a crash course on the history of U.S. Sitting Volleyball and the Paralympics. They also highlighted the recent gold medal victory of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team at the Intercontinental Cup in Anji, China. Inspired by this success, the students eagerly embraced the opportunity to experience the game for themselves.

One student, Samuel Leishman, a sophomore at Love Christian Fellowship High School in Denver, expressed his enthusiasm for the sport, saying, “I like any sport you put me in, so this has been a lot of fun. This one has things that are easy, but then making sure you’re getting to the ball can be hard.” Despite being born with a disability that resulted in the amputation of his left leg above the knee, Leishman has thrived in various sports, including wrestling. He aspires to make it to the 2020 Olympics in wrestling and is open to the possibility of sitting volleyball as well.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  USAV Announces 2017 Youth Parapan Am Games Roster

The Playmakers Program extended beyond the students’ visit. Kessel and his team also conducted a sitting volleyball tutorial for approximately 30 participants from USA Swimming’s SwimBiz conference. Kessel believes that volleyball is a sport that most people are familiar with and introducing them to sitting volleyball allows them to gain a better understanding of the perspective of disabled athletes. Furthermore, Kessel emphasizes the importance of talent identification for all Paralympic sports, not just volleyball.

The efforts of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team have not gone unnoticed, as they were nominated by the United States Olympic Committee for the title of the best Olympic or Paralympic team in the month of March. Other nominated teams included beach volleyball pair Kerri Walsh Jennings and the U.S. Women’s Senior National Water Polo Team.

Continuing with the grassroots initiative, Travis Ricks, a member of the U.S. Men’s Sitting Team, collaborates with Patrick Lawrence, the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team athletic trainer, and the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association to organize a sitting volleyball tournament in California. This tournament serves as a fundraiser for the local sitting volleyball program, with the goal of sending a team to the USAV Open National Championships. The tournament welcomes both disabled and able-bodied athletes, aiming to unite the sitting volleyball community and raise awareness for the sport.

In ongoing efforts to grow the sport of sitting volleyball, U.S. Women’s Sitting Team outside hitter Nichole Millage and former U.S. Men’s Sitting Team captain Brent Rasmussen recently conducted a tutorial for businessmen at the Olympic Training Center. This tutorial was part of Experience To Lead’s Team USA program, which aims to develop leadership skills through various Olympic and Paralympic sports. Participants had the opportunity to learn about sitting volleyball and engage in a scrimmage led by Millage, Rasmussen, and Kessel. This exposure to sitting volleyball not only fosters interest in the sport but also contributes to the growth of the Paralympic movement.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  USAV Sets Beach ParaVolley Training Camps

FAQs

Q: How did the students get the opportunity to experience sitting volleyball?

A: The students from the Denver area had the chance to immerse themselves in sitting volleyball and other Olympic and Paralympic sports through the Playmakers Program, a collaboration between the United States Olympic Committee and the Foundation for Global Sports Development.

Q: Did any of the students show interest in pursuing sitting volleyball further?

A: Yes, one student named Samuel Leishman, who is a sophomore at Love Christian Fellowship High School, expressed his love for the sport and his ambition to make it to the 2020 Olympics in wrestling. He also mentioned that he is open to the possibility of pursuing sitting volleyball.

Summary

In April 2016, a group of Denver-area teens had the opportunity to experience sitting volleyball as part of the Playmakers Program, a collaboration between the United States Olympic Committee and the Foundation for Global Sports Development. Led by the Director for Sport Development, John Kessel, the students received a crash course in the history of U.S. Sitting Volleyball and the Paralympics before trying out the sport for themselves. This grassroots initiative aims to promote sitting volleyball and encourage talent identification for all Paralympic sports. The efforts of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team have also been recognized by the United States Olympic Committee. In addition, Travis Ricks and the Adaptive Sports and Recreation Association organized a sitting volleyball tournament, while Nichole Millage and Brent Rasmussen conducted a tutorial for businessmen, further contributing to the growth of sitting volleyball and the Paralympic movement. To get involved and learn more about sitting volleyball, visit the Alpinetgheep website.

Tham Khảo Thêm:  Americans Shine at FIVB Club World Championship