Saturday, 20 Jul 2024

USAV Celebrates One Year Out in Olympic City USA

Teaching the love of the game is a vital part of USA Volleyball’s mission. Recently, several staff members had the opportunity to share their passion at the One-Year Out Celebration for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, held in Colorado Springs. The event, attended by hundreds of families, provided a platform for kids to play, learn new skills, and have a great time.

Not only was USA Volleyball present, but other National Governing Bodies like USA Wrestling, USA Field Hockey, USA Judo, and USA Triathlon also participated. Local clubs and organizations hosted soccer, skateboarding, and gymnastics lessons, making it a truly diverse and exciting gathering. Even the Mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, joined in on the festivities.

Patty Fadum, Coordinator of Region Services Programs, played a significant role in organizing USA Volleyball’s participation in the event. She enlisted the help of Shelley Small and Trevor Sullivan from the Coaching Education Department, Joel Wyman from the Officials Department, and Emily Burlinson, the International Events Assistant. Their main task was to interact with the children, imparting valuable volleyball skills and knowledge. In addition to them, John Kessel, the Director of Sport Development, led the older participants in sand volleyball activities.

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Kessel emphasized the importance of capturing the children’s interest by allowing them to immediately serve and spike. By focusing on these exciting aspects of the game, the potential frustrations of learning more challenging skills, such as forearm passing, can be overcome. Starting with serving helps children feel a sense of control and achievement from the very beginning.

A similar approach was adopted for younger children playing on grass. USA Volleyball set up three “sitting courts,” where the emphasis was on letting the kids have fun hitting the ball over the net. The use of multiple balls ensured that all participants had the opportunity to actively engage in the game without having to watch from the sidelines. This setup proved to be effective, as some children stayed for extended periods, eager to try out new skills.

Looking ahead, the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will commence on July 24, 2020. The U.S. Women’s National Team will have their first chance to qualify on August 2-4 in Shreveport, La., while the U.S. men will compete for their spot in the Olympics on August 9-11 in the Netherlands. Exciting times lie ahead for USA Volleyball, as they continue to nurture and develop the sport among aspiring athletes.


Q: What is the purpose of the One-Year Out Celebration for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo?

A: The celebration serves as an opportunity for various sports organizations, such as USA Volleyball, to engage with the community and promote their sport. It allows kids to experience the excitement of playing and learning new skills while fostering a love for volleyball.

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Q: How did USA Volleyball make the event enjoyable for the kids?

A: USA Volleyball implemented a strategy that focused on letting the children serve and spike immediately. This approach taps into their desire for excitement and encourages their involvement from the start. By placing emphasis on these enjoyable aspects, they are more likely to embrace the sport and further develop their skills.


In a delightful One-Year Out Celebration for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, USA Volleyball actively engaged with the community, especially children, by allowing them to play, have fun, and learn new skills. The event, held in Colorado Springs, brought together various sports organizations and local clubs to offer a diverse range of activities. USA Volleyball’s approach of immediately allowing kids to serve and spike captured their interest while fostering a sense of control and achievement. The successful event highlighted the importance of promoting and nurturing volleyball among aspiring athletes.