DALLAS (July 7, 2012) - If you could have one wish granted, anything in the world, what would it be?
For Tim Vorenkamp, a member of the 949 16s team in the USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships (BJNC) 16 Club Division competing in Dallas, that wish is to go to the London Olympics, and for him that wish is coming true.
Thanks to the Make-a-Wish Foundation, Vorenkamp, 15, will be heading to the 2012 London Olympics to hang out with the U.S. Olympic Men’s Volleyball Team.
“I was 13 when I found a lump on my leg while I was playing for Orange County Volleyball Club (OCVC),” Vorenkamp said. “I found out shortly after that it was stage 3 cancer and a month later I had it removed.”
The rare form of cancer, so rare that only four people in the U.S. get diagnosed each year, has a 40 percent chance of coming back. Though chemotherapy and radiation are complete, the thought of going through the cancer cycle again is very real for Vorenkamp and his family.
“There are no words to describe how painful it is to hear that your child has cancer,” his mother Petra Vorenkamp said with tears in her eyes. “When you hear that word, cancer, your mind immediately goes to death.”
Now, a year cancer free, Vorenkamp is back playing volleyball. He changed clubs and now plays up an age group, determined to make the national team one day.
“I missed my entire eighth-grade year,” Vorenkamp said. “I was cleared after graduation and the first thing I wanted to do was play volleyball. I started talking to my high school coach at JSerra Catholic High School and got back in the gym. I built my skills back up and made varsity my freshman year.”
Though he missed his eighth grade year due to treatment, Vorenkamp was able to skip that academic level and join his classmates in high school.
“I was fortunate to recover quickly,” Vorenkamp said. “My hair grew back much quicker than they expected and I started feeling better.”
After going through such a fast and traumatic experience, Vorenkamp credits volleyball and his dream to be on the national team one day to keeping his spirits up as well as connected to his friends.
“I love playing and I love the people,” Vorenkamp said. “Through treatment I just kept thinking that in a year I would be with my friends again and back on the court.”
Now with the 949 club of the Southern California Region, Vorenkamp has made a new start on the court and has gained tremendous support from his family and the entire club. With help from them all, Vorenkamp stayed positive throughout the cancer cycles. However, his mother credits him for the family’s strength.
“His strength comes from a deep place,” Petra said. “He stayed so positive the entire time. It was truly an inspiration to us all. The process is draining. He would go 10 days without being able to see anyone, five days without eating, sleeping for 28 hours and then a week later he would have to do it all over again. For a kid that is in an indescribable situation, he always reminded us that he was going to fight and stay strong.”
The Make-A-Wish Foundation is giving Vorenkamp an opportunity of lifetime by flying him and his family to London for a week of Olympic action.
“We haven’t been told any details yet,” Petra said. “On July 14 we will get the itinerary and figure out exactly what we will be doing.”
“It is going to be so amazing,” Vorenkamp said. “My dream is to be on the national team, so being able to meet them at the Olympics and watch them play at that level is unbelievable. They said that it is one of the biggest wishes that they have ever granted.”
For months now Vorenkamp has been giving speeches for various cancer foundations. He speaks in hospitals, to groups and with children going through similar situations.
“I just want to help. That is what I love to do,” Vorenkamp said. “When you are going through a situation like cancer and everything is bad news, hearing a survivor’s story can really give you the motivation that they need to get through that day. It shows that it is possible to keep going.”
Vorenkamp will have to continue screenings for a good part of his life to make sure that the cancer does not come back. He has accepted that this is part of him and that his fight is not over. With the support from his family, his club and the opportunity from Make-A-Wish he promises to do everything he can to help kids like him.
“He will always have cancer,” Petra said. “It will be something that will always be part of him. His positive attitude and goal of becoming a national team athlete is his motivation every day. His father, Pieter and I truly believe that he is determined to make that team and that he will do it one day.”
“I have all the support in the world so I will do my part to make sure I live up to my potential on and off the court,” Vorenkamp said.
The U.S. Men’s National Team has a strong connection to the Make-A-Wish and has been granting wishes from children for years through the Foundation. Read previous releases of when the men’s team was part of a child’s wish.
When one of our Site Directors from the West Sacramento site suggested a day in which kids can bring a friend to volleyball, we weren’t sure how it would work.
Would we have enough nets, coaches, how many kids would attend and how would we run practice?
Well, all that got sorted out and on its third season as part of the operation of each site, it is one of the most successful ways of introducing new players to the sport!
Sacramento, this Spring 2012 season, had a record 53 new players introduced to volleyball as part of the Bring a Friend Day!
NCAA Finals Special Offer to all USYVL Families!
This year the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship will be held at USC in the newly built Galen Center.
May 3 - Semifinals (6 p.m. PT/8 p.m. PT)
May 5 - Championship (7 p.m. PT)
USC is proud to host the 2012 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship at Galen Center on May 3rd & 5th, 2012. The Semi-Finals will be held on May 3rd at 6pm and 8pm and the Championship will be on May 5th at 7pm.
We have negotiated a special price for all USYVL Players, Coaches and Families of $10 for the All Session pass which in normally $25 for adults and $20 for children. Please enter Promotion Code USYVL to get the All Session pass for $10.00, that’s only $3.33 per match to see the best college volleyball players in action. Click here to purchase your reserved seat to the 2012 NCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship.
We encourage everyone to purchase their tickets early to get the best seats!
The top 10 teams in the country that will be competing for a spot in the finals are:
2- UC Irvine
7- Penn State
8- Long Beach State
10- Ohio State
We look forward to seeing you there!
In the early stages of USYVL, clinics at schools were an integral part of introducing kids to the sport of volleyball.
USYVL has gone back to its roots by adding a new division to its national office, Volleyball Clinics!
This past Thursday, March 29, from 8 to 11 a.m., USYVL ran a clinic at Sunset School in Oak View,CA.
Over 120 students participated in the clinic and learned how to pass, set, spike and serve.
Each participant received an awesome USYVL wristband and got to participate in a trivia contest for cool volleyball prizes!
The Murrieta USYVL and San Luis Obispo USYVL open their Spring 2012 season, today, Thursday March 22!
Murrieta runs at Mapleton Park Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. and Saturdays from 9-10 a.m.
San Luis Obispo is experiencing extremely high numbers this Spring so a second location was added to service all the kids.
We look forward to a great opening day and a fantastic season!
The 2012 Santa Clarita Health and Wellness fair took place on Saturday, February 25 at College of the Canyons. The event was put together by the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce.
From 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., all Santa Clarita residents had an opportunity to take part in free health screenings, family activities and receive informational materials.
USYVL was one of over 70 vendors present to promote healthy lifestyles. Trisha and Diana from the national office ran an interactive booth, which included a raffle every 30 minutes, to promote USYVL in the community as another opportunity for kids to stay active and healthy!
The Natomas area is a suburb of Sacramento County in California. It is comprised of North and South Natomas where the Arco Arena is located, which is home to the Sacramento Kings.
The new USYVL Natomas will service kids that were making the drive to the Sacramento USYVL as well as new participants. With the cooperation of two local parents and the former Sacramento USYVL site director, Ron, the program was opened just in time for the Spring 2012 season.
The program is scheduled to run March 27 to June 2 on Tuesdays 6-7 p.m. and Saturdays 9-10 a.m. at North Natomas Community Park.
If you haven’t seen it yet, you will in the next few weeks!
It’s the latest thing in technology that every company is using to make it simple for folks to locate a website, special promotion or virtually anything.
You simply place your Smartphone’s scanner on the code and it takes you to their website or page.
The USYVL Quick Response Code was just placed on several thousand flyers that were distributed throughout the Santa Monica and Oak Park communities.
Check it out!
Scan with Smartphone
to Visit our Website
The Southern California All Sports Coaches Clinics took place on January 20, 21 and 22 at the Hyatt Regency in Irvine, CA.
USYVL was part of 75 exhibitors that took this opportunity to interact with coaches attending the clinics.
Presenters for the sport of volleyball included Mick Haley, John Dunning, Tom Pestolesi and Tom Black.
This event takes place every year as an educational opportunity for coaches in the Southern California area.
Alisa from Calabasas started her volunteer experience with USYVL as a First Aid Administrator in the Fall of 2010.
After seeing how rewarding and enjoyable the Site Director position was and how important it is for the success of the program, she took on the Co-Site Director position in the Spring of 2011. Although her daughter Sarah moved on to high school volleyball in the Fall, Alisa continued as the Co-Site Director making sure all the kids in Calabasas had a great USYVL experience!
Her organizational skills, love for kids and the sport of volleyball have created a special place where a large number of kids move on to high school volleyball and continue to play the sport.
This Spring 2012, you can catch Alisa running her Calabasas USYVL Tuesdays and Saturdays at Chaparral Elementary.
It’s the holiday season and the last thing on your mind is volleyball!
Do remember to register for the Spring 2012 season, the sooner the better.
Every site is experiencing an increase in player participation, so please help us plan ahead.
You can register online at www.USYVL.org or by mail. You can print a registration form from our website as well, but if you would like one emailed, faxed or mailed to you, give us a call at 1-888-988-7985!
Spread the word about USYVL in your community and get a cool gift!
How does that work? Refer a New Friend!
It’s simple, all you have to do is go to our website www.USYVL.org and click on forms and print the Refer a Friend Form.
Before you hand the form to a NEW friend to register, make sure to include your first and last name in the designated area on the form.
When they register by mail or online, your name will be noted and you will receive a COOL Gift!
The USYVL Annual Fundraising Drive is in full gear so please help us meet our goal this year.
It is our mission to provide the best volleyball programs in the US and we need your help!
Our Community Fund provides every child the opportunity to play volleyball; we have never turned a child away.
It also allows us to provide training resources for our volunteers, quality equipment to use at each of our programs and youth volleyball clinics.
Help give every child the opportunity to play volleyball!
November 5 turned out to be a great day, the sun was shining and the sky was blue.
The kids put together all the skills they learned and perfected throughout the season and played the last two games of Fall 2011.
The trophies were a reward for all the hard work put in by the kids and they were received with excitement.
To top it off, each team had a small potluck to celebrate the season.
Thank you to all the volunteers who donated their time and made this a great experience for the kids!
You are invited to the Central Coast Showdown this Sunday, November 20 at Lompoc High School Gym at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. The Cal Poly Women’s Volleyball Club Team will be playing against UC Santa Barbara Women’s Volleyball Club Team. The first match is at 3 p.m. with Cal-Poly Gold vs. UCSB Blue. The second match is at 5 p.m. with UCSB Gold vs. Cal-Poly Green
Entry to the game is FREE for all USYVL players and parents who wear their USYVL t-shirt. General admission is $1. Please make sure your child is accompanied by an adult!
Remember to wear your USYVL t-shirt to get in FREE!
The date is this Sunday, November 20 at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Lompoc High School Gym located at 515 W. College Ave., Lompoc, CA 93436.
See you there!
The Fall 2011 season saw a myriad of team names from sites in California to Pasadena, MD.
The voting process was extensive and the winners were!
First place was Serves You Right from Santa Cruz, CA.
Second Place was Serve US with a Smile from South Fayette, PA.
Third Place was Cinnabomb from Valencia, CA.
Each team received “volleyball starts here!” t-shirts.
On Saturday, September 10, USYVL kids had the opportunity to attend a volleyball clinic directed by Marv Dunphy. The clinic was held at Alumni Park at Pepperdine University, which has a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.
Marv is the Men’s Volleyball Coach at Pepperdine University. He is recognized as one of the leading coaches in the sport! He was the coach of the 1988 United States Men’s Olympic Gold Medal Team and was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 1994.
Clinic participants worked on the fundamentals of volleyball, advanced drills and even got to play a few games. What better way to get ready for the USYVL Fall 2011 season than this!
A very big thank you to Marv from USYVL and the USYVL Kids!
To read the full story go to http://www.pepperdinesports.com/sports/m-volley/spec-rel/092111aaa.html
Are you ready for the Fall 2011 season?
Programs start this coming week!
If you didn’t already turn in a hard copy of the Player Medical Registration form, please make sure to bring it on the first day.
If you didn’t already turn in a hard copy of the Volunteer Application form, please make sure to bring it on the first day along with your identification.
We are always in need of coaches and assistant coaches. If you haven’t volunteered yet, please consider coaching!
The schedule is exactly as that of your child. You have a volleyball instructor at every practice and game who shows you what to do. Most of all, it’s fun and you are helping your program!
If you would like to coach or assistant coach, give us a call at 1-888-988-7985!