COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Bridging the gap between the U.S. National Teams and youth volleyball programs across the country, the USA Volleyball High Performance program has an instrumental role in molding future volleyball players into high-level, high-character athletes.
Being such an influential component of an athlete’s growth, it is important to choose the right message. That’s where the latest partnership comes into play, as USA Volleyball High Performance joins the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and TrueSport to implement the TrueSport curriculum to its HP training and competition programs this summer.
Since its inception 14 years ago, USADA has strived to protect the integrity of competition through one of its founding pillars, TrueSport. Powered by the USADA, TrueSport is a community outreach and education program that seeks to ensure a positive youth sport experience for all athletes.
With advocates around the country, the TrueSport seeks to teach crucial life-lessons through sport, while focusing on its three pillars of clean competition, sportsmanship and peak performance.
“TrueSport values mirror those of USA Volleyball and our U.S. National Teams,” USAV High Performance manager Denise Sheldon said. “The opportunity to enhance the HP Volleyball training experience with crucial sport and life-lessons is something we simply could not pass up.”
This past week at the USA National A2 Invitational Team program in Colorado Springs, Colo., 350 HP athletes had the opportunity to learn from TrueSport Ambassador and two-time USA Volleyball Olympian Ogonna Nnamani.
“The High Performance program is an integral part of the success of USA Volleyball and the implementation of TrueSport’s curriculum at the HP program gives our future National Team players a tremendous edge,” Nnamani said of the partnership.
“TrueSport’s message has the potential to transform the landscape of sports in our country,” she went on to say. “TrueSport’s emphasis on leadership, sportsmanship, perseverance and teamwork will not only contribute to the development of high-level athletes, but also excellent people.”
Athletes at the HP program were very receptive of Nnamani’s message of perseverance.
“Ogonna made me realize that all champions have obstacles to overcome in order to reach their dreams,” HP athlete Grace Cleveland said about what she learned from Nnamani. “She made it clear to me that you don’t have to be on the No. 1 club team or at a big school to be great. Hard work and determination will get you where you want to be.”
With the growth of the USAV HP program nearing 1,500 members this summer, it is important that TrueSport’s message is heard.
“TrueSport and USA Volleyball’s combined efforts this year to spread a message of winning the right way and not at all costs, is important for these athletes to hear,” USDA spokesperson Vicki Vaughn said in a statement. “Ogonna is a natural ambassador for clean sport, who truly walks the walk when it comes to class and character.”
TrueSport and USAV HP will take their show on the road this weekend to Tulsa, Okla., where they will host two-time Olympian Gabe Gardner to speak to athletes in the USA A1 National Training Team and USA Continental Team programs. Those athletes will then compete in the High Performance Championships against other USA teams, Region High Performance teams and a number of international teams from around the world.
For more information on the High Performance program visit the home page here.