The Northern Mariana Islands Volleyball Association has been holding basic lessons to children in the 12 and under age group for two weeks now at the SSS Summer Sports Camp at the TSL Sports Complex.
NMIVA president Somia Quan and secretary Shawn Davis are assisting the TSL Foundation and the Saipan Soccer School in conducting the volleyball sessions of the sports camp, which started last July 6.
Davis said that when NMIVA held its first clinic (for coaches and players) last April, they made a promise to reach out to young kids, too. Davis added that NMIVA is very pleased to partner with the TSL Foundation and SSS and have the opportunity to keep its promise by taking part in this summer’s sports camp.
“It’s important that we reach out to young kids to develop a grassroots program. We have a lot of good players who learn to play volleyball outside of the CNMI or when they are already old so it will be great if we could develop more homegrown, from grassroots. It’s nice to have a venue [like this sports camp] where children can learn to play volleyball, enjoy it, and have fun with kids at their age level,” Davis said.
For the first two weeks of the sessions, Davis, Quan, and other volunteers focused on serving and passing and also demonstrated warm-up drills.
Saipan International School fifth grader Aubrey White is among the participants in the summer camp and is happy that she gets to try volleyball besides the sport (soccer) that she is used to playing.
“I registered for the sports camp to learn many sports and see which one I will like to continue to play. I like volleyball and hope to get a chance to play in the next school year,” White said.
The volleyball sessions at the summer camp are part of the series of outreach programs that NMIVA is conducting this year. Last April, FIVB Level III certified coach and Oceania Sports Education master educator Mike Rabago held a coaches and players camp at the Agape Gymnasium. Then in June, Rabago returned and conducted a five-day clinic for high school players.
Rabago is back on Saipan for the third time this year for another clinic for high school students and the free sessions started last night and will run until July 23. The Guam coach is also scheduled to visit the SSS Summer Sports Camp this morning and participate in conducting the drills.