Successful Sitting Volleyball Programming Through Collaboration Elliot Blake – USA Volleyball & University of Central Oklahoma Ashley Thomas – Bridge II Sports, Paralympic Sport Club Jenna Hinton – Triangle Volleyball Club Jennifer Cooper Weatherford – Armed Forces Services Corporation
Who’s Who Elliot Blake Sitting Volleyball Coordinator, USA Volleyball& University of Central Oklahoma; 5 years Level II Coach, USA Volleyball; 14 years/18 seasons at collegiate, club, and high school levels Junior National Referee, USA Volleyball; State Referee, PAVO; High School Referee; 10 years M.S. in Sport Management, FSU; B.S. Physical Education, FIU Ashley Thomas Founder and Executive Director of Bridge II Sports, Paralympic Sport Club; 6 years Awarded Paralympic Sport Club of the Year, 2012 Member of the National Parakayak Team, USA Canoe and Kayak Certified Adapted Sports Technician, BlazeSports; 5 years Jenna Hinton Assistant Director, Triangle Volleyball Club Level II Coach, USA Volleyball; 16 years at collegiate, club, and high school levels IMPACT Instructor for the Carolina Regional Volleyball Association Three-time CVAC All-Conference Player at Barton College Jennifer Cooper Weatherford San Antonio Military Adapted Sport Coordinator, Armed Forces Services Corporation; 1 year Military Site Coordinator, US Paralympics; 2 years Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist; 3 years M.S.R.L.S. in Therapeutic Recreation, TSU; B.E.S.S. in Exercise and Sport Science, TSU
Sitting Volleyball • London Gold Medal Game • A discipline of volleyball • Rules are nearly identical to indoor • Only 4 modifications
Current Status of National Programs • National Teams • Men’s team did not qualify for London • Women’s team won Silver Medal in London • A2 Team (development program) • Continues to receive new funding for military athletes • Number of athletes has remained stable • Resident Athlete Program
U.S. National Sitting Teams USA Volleyball – National Sitting Team High Performance Pipeline Experienced volleyball players looking to join the sitting teams Resident Athlete Training Program Youth National Teams A2 Training Team Military members who are identified as emerging / elite athletes Athletes with no previous volleyball experience Extended Stay or One-on-One Training at Team Training Site USAV Region Teams Military Sport Camps and Competitions Community or Club Programs USAV Open Championships, Tournaments, and Clinics Military WTU Training
Community Based • Very few ongoing programs
Why so few community programs? • Is there a facility/equipment issue? • Is there a lack of knowledge? • Is finding participants a struggle? • Is there a certainty that it just will not work? • Is there a fear of failure?
Jenna Hinton Ashley Thomas
Why develop sitting volleyball? Jenna – Volleyball is our mission and passion • Goal of Triangle Volleyball Club • Make volleyball open and accessible • Growing the sport of volleyball Typical sitting volleyball session at Triangle • Ashley – Paralympic Team Sport • One sport does not fit all • Community Collaboration is the only way to grow the variety of adapted sports options • Triangle has an excellent reputation will well trained and certified staff • Triangle has their own facility
Initial challenges Ashley – Learning how to work together Sharing info with our population Not being afraid of sharing contact info Partner having good understanding of cross disabilities Safe practices for the sport Communicating sports/calendar Carol at Triangle Sitting Tournament 3/17/13 • Jenna – Club and Administration supports this initiative • Current Challenges – • Identifying folks who want to play • Connecting/reaching our audience • Pacing growth [this program is in it’s 2nd year] Youth player with Bridge II Sport
Collaboration The view from center court at MAPL 3/10/12
Shared Success Takes Time and Investment on both sides Big Stage = Big Impact Three Prongs to Collaborations Local Paralympic Sports Club Local Volleyball Club National USA Volleyball support [both Para/Olympics] Event: MAPL Monique Burkland [Team USA vs. Team NED] at MAPL 3/10/12
Impact – Broaden Base of Influence • Education • Awareness • Volunteers • Creates new Needs Carol, Jenna, Ashley and the Duke ‘Team’
New Inventions: The Striker Identified a specific ‘Need’ Duke University is contacted Collaboration begins Product delivery Through a collaboration with Duke University a device [‘the Striker’] was developed with the specific goal to allow a player with paralysis to play sitting volleyball independently. The Striker - Final Product Carol at Triangle Sitting Tournament 3/17/13
Success • Plans to host a Pre-Paralympic tournament [prior to Rio]. • Increased Military opportunities • Collaboration of exposure in Paralympic Experience • Exposure to Duke, UNC, NC State • Continued growth of regional sitting volleyball Jenna at AVCA Convention with Team USA
How To Measure Success • Local – new opportunities • Great Support • MAPL – 4500 • 3 impact of Clubs • Family with daughter with no limbs • $1000 • $120 • Open communication, collaboration to work with strengths • Medical provider have higher expectations • Volunteer to learn sports then implement elsewhere • w/c basketball tournament
Jennifer Cooper Weatherford Rik Mullane Ed Dahl Eddie Dahl
WHY DEVELOP SIT VOLLEYBALL??? • Need and interest • MILITARY CITY USA • Charitable organizations interested in helping • Staff & coaching available • It’s FUN for people with disabilities & able-bodied!
Initial Challenges & Collaboration Had to figure out the 6 W’s… Who, What, When, Where, Why & How Determination of dates and times Most cost-effective facilities Participation Marketing
Events Conducted… • 2009: Coaching Accreditation Program featuring Sitting Volleyball Modules • 2009-2013: Various sitting volleyball clinics & competitions at Fort Sam Houston, CFI, San Antonio College & St. Mary’s Hall • 2011-Present: Service members involved in the league help lead Cadre Courses, camps & clinics to military staff, fellow wounded service members & community athletes • 2011: National A2 Camp at Saint Mary’s Hall Preparatory School • 2012-Present: Open League Nights with St. Mary’s volleyball team, UTSA volleyball team & several club teams • November 2012: Open Tryout for USA Sit Volleyball Team
Successes… • We host sit volleyball programs twice/week for the service members. • We conduct sit volleyball once a year for a month for PT for the Soldier Athlete Reconditioning Program (SARP) at Fort Sam Houston. • We have developed great friendships & had a lot of fun along the way! • From the open national team tryout, 4 soldiers were selected to attend camps with the National & A2 Developmental teams. • We have several athletes that have played with the National Sitting Volleyball Pipeline: • SGT Delvin Maston • MAJ Thomas Davis • SSG Jen Yung Lee • SPC Matthew Spang • SPC Chris Tarte • SGT Ryan McIntosh • SGT Alejandro Seguritan • SPC Stephen Bracken
How we measure success… • METRICS… We track numbers at every event we do & put them in monthly & yearly excel reports. We also track our participants success & attitude. • We have had over 100 people play sit volleyball with us. Over 60 military athletes & 40 community athletes. • SOF’s - Smiles On Faces… We have put over 180 Smiles On Faces!! • Productivity from us & the athletes… How hard are we working and how happy are we?? The participants & the staff. If it’s not fun anymore it’s not worth it!
Current & Future State of Activities… • Current State of Activities… We just completed our 3rd Sitting Volleyball Season & will start our Fall League back in September. Due to a softball league that all the Warriors play in once a year until July we decided to end this Spring league early. We are very flexible to our participant needs & level of interest at the time. • Future State of Activities… • Plan to send a team to the 2013 U.S. Open National Championships • Increase the local community involvement • Continue sponsorship of the League • Conduct more social events for the participants & families like pool parties & BBQ’s. Conduct more joint events featuring local clubs and college volleyball teams: • Texas Juniors • Bexar County Juniors • St. Mary’s University • University of Texas San Antonio (UTSA)
On the Horizon • USA Volleyball Open National Championships • May 27-28 • Youth Sitting Volleyball Camp • July 28-August 1 • Parapan American Zonal Championships • October 9-13 • A2 Team goes international (again) • Spring 2014