Footwear and apparel manufacturer ASICS has been a longtime sponsor of the United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL). You likely have noticed the ASICS logo on USYVL uniforms, as well as Coach’s shirts and Clinician uniforms. It is a symbol of commitment to youth sports, particularly volleyball in the United States.
ASICS, as a company, has been around for over 60 years. Do you know what the ASICS acronym stands for? Here is the answer! Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka , who founded the company as Onitsuka Co., Ltd. In 1949, decided on the name ASICS for his company in 1977, based on a famous Latin phrase "Anima Sana In Corpore Sano," which when translated expresses the ancient ideal of "A Sound Mind in a Sound Body." So, now you know. ASICS was founded on the belief that the best way to create a healthy and happy lifestyle is to promote total health and fitness.
ASICS not only supports the efforts of USYVL, but also professional athletes, including pro volleyball player Kaitlin Sather Nielsen, who visited the Torrance, CA sites during this past season. Of course, you see many volleyball players wearing ASICS famous GEL Cushioning System.
“We are very grateful for the support that ASICS has provided to the league,” said Randy Sapoznik, USYVL Executive Director.
You can find more information on ASICS at www.asicsamerica.com.
Last month, Dale Hoffman, one of the co-founders of the United States Youth Volleyball League (USYVL), received an award to honor his role in the formation of the league, which began in 1997. Dale had been a long-time proponent of youth volleyball prior to his meetings with co-founder Randy Sapoznik, who remains in place to this day as the executive director. In the league’s 15 years, well over 100,000 children learned volleyball, teamwork and self-esteem building skills through the USYVL.
When Randy Sapoznik approached Dale with the original concept, Dale, having been involved in beach volleyball and youth programs for several years as well as having well-established contacts and operational expertise needed to form the league, was excited by the prospect of what it could be.
“There are several volleyball-related accomplishments of which I’m quite proud,” Dale said recently. “Working with John Kessel on the Junior Olympics beach events is one, assisting the CBVA in the Beach Volleyball Hall of Fame is another. However, it is thinking back to sitting in my office with Randy Sapoznik talking about the USYVL with only Randy’s idea and passion and my desire to help make it happen – to see where the USVYL is over 15 years later is amazing!”
Dale was serving as president of the California Beach Volleyball Association (CBVA), and was involved with the U.S. Junior Olympic Beach Volleyball Championships and U.S. Beach Volleyball Championships in the 1990s, as well as holding a vice president role with USA Volleyball’s Beach Division.
His cooperative effort with Randy Sapoznik took a concept to full-fledged league in a matter of months. “We have many people to thanks for the success of the USYVL,” said Randy Sapoznik. “However, it’s a fact that without Dale, the league would have never gotten off the ground.”
Dale’s affiliation with volleyball and youth programs is, indeed, impressive. In 1994, Dale was listed as one of the “People of the Year” in Volleyball Magazine for his efforts, along with those of John Kessel at USA Volleyball and Gino Grajeda at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), to establish a youth beach volleyball championship. Dale was also president of his company, Recreaction International, Inc. where he was responsible for managing Ventura County’s Friday Night Live, a tobacco, alcohol and drug abuse prevention program for teens. He also served as president of the California Beach Volleyball Association, the world’s oldest beach volleyball organization. In 1994, Dale co-founded the U.S. Junior Olympics Beach Volleyball Championships with John Kessel in Capistrano Beach. Later, in 1997 Randy Sapoznik and Dale co-founded the United States Youth Volleyball League, which provided children ages 8 to 14 the opportunity to learn the sport of volleyball in an organized, fun environment.
However, Dale is more than a leader, great coach and program developer for the sport of volleyball. He has impressive athletic achievements in his past. Personal accomplishments include winning a gold medal in beach volleyball at the 1994 World Masters Games in Surfer’s Paradise, Australia and riding his bike across the USA in 1998 as part of an American Lung Association fundraising effort.
These days, Dale, who holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in Education, serves in a management role for Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska. He lives in Alaska, home to the midnight sun. In his free time, along with traveling and cycling, he continues to enjoy playing volleyball. Many thanks to Dale!
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.
Fall 2012 Team Name Contest Winners: In-Dig-O!
Congratulations! Great play on the sport and your team color!
Congratulations to Misty and Kerri for making history in the London Olympics!
This is a great time for the sport of volleyball, not just beach volleyball, where we have the opportunity to see the passion, athleticism and joy that it can bring.
The story has been written for future generations and will inspire the next Olympians.
Need community service hours or just want to share your knowledge of volleyball with the up and coming players, volunteer for the USYVL!
Volunteering for the USYVL is easy, fun and you get community service hours credit.
You will also have the opportunity as an assistant coach to teach the fundamentals of volleyball and how the game is played.
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!
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!