#GiveFive

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First of all, thank you for being curious and interested about this initiative.

That’s the first step. Thank you for being here.  

As you had already read, the GiveFive initiative is a fundraiser for the Women’s National Volleyball Team to better support their road to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

This past summer our Women’s Team made huge steps towards the 2020 Olympic Qualification beating both Dominican Republic (world ranking: 9th) and Brazil (world ranking: 4th). They also had success on their European tour in August beating Germany, Turkey, and Bulgaria in exhibition matches. With these wins it is clear they have what it takes to play with the best in the world. Now we are looking to help fund more exhibition trips to Europe in order to get strong competition. This past summer our team played a total of 12 games while other countries were playing up to 50 or 60 games. We are looking to bridge that gap by asking our volleyball community across Canada to support the team and come alongside us for this journey. Every young athlete aspires to join our national team and this is their chance to contribute to the team.

Here’s the idea: if you simply add $5 to each athlete’s tryout fee (and/or club fee) you can help raise more than $250,000 in order to support our Women’s Team. We need your help and this is one way that your club can show that they support the National Team program. 

We realize that many clubs have already set and started to collect tryout fees and cannot make a change for this season. We would like to give athletes the opportunity to give to the program anyways. If you would be willing to add in a "donate $5" option on your online registration, or collect $5 at the time of tryouts onsite registration, that would be one way we could generate support this year. (If you would like to learn more about this initiative there are more details below the video at the end of the post.)

 Already we have had some amazing teams join forces and agree to add the $5 tryout fee to support our Women’s Team. 

HUGE thanks to Sky Volleyball, Flyers VC, Fraser Valley VC, BCIV, BCO, Thunder, Sunshine coast vc, sonic, cougars vc, club west, alliance and Ducks VC. 

 
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As captain of the Women’s Volleyball Team, I am forever grateful to these clubs for taking the initiative to help support our Olympic dreams. Being a National Team athlete is no easy feat; do not let the highlight reels fool you. In order to become the best player we possibly can be, my teammates and I are currently in all corners of the world, grinding it out with our respective professional clubs; some great situations and other’s not so great. We are away from our home, family, friends, and community for eight months out of the year in a city and a team that might not speak any english. So let me be the first to tell you that any backing and support from our Canadian volleyball club community goes a long, long way.

Despite the struggles, I will also be the first to say that there is something so tangible about having a community that backs and support your endeavours and your choices to pursue this sport wholeheartedly, each year. Yet also completely debilitating when you hear of others who don’t believe in you or the program you have been putting front and centre of your world for so long. For me and a few of my teammates, we have had to go through family deaths, tragedies, and other personal, very challenging matters all the while competing at the highest level possible. We will often put our physical, mental, and emotional well-beings to the side as we fight with everything we possibly have to get better each practice. We maintain a high level of training which can be for 6 or 7 hours a day and somehow try to find the time to work on our personal lives and keep ourselves healthy and recovered for the next practice. The things we endure overseas, the overtraining, the blood, sweat, and tears, are all for one goal: to represent our country in the Olympic Games. 

 
  Team Canada at the 2018 World Championships in Japan.

Team Canada at the 2018 World Championships in Japan.

 

For me personally, this will be my last chance to complete the dream of mine. I am going to do everything I can to help get my team to the Olympics which I dream will help drive the next generations of volleyball players in Canada to be greatly successful and become top contenders in the volleyball world. I watch the club national teams, the college and the USport games and see the raw talent and the character that these individuals have. This is not just a one time deal to qualify and compete in the Olympics. This is the start of a nation-wide movement to continually help push volleyball forward in Canada. We need to help these women dream big and then reach those big dreams!

And we have always had the talent to get there.

I often look at the men’s team who needed and then received a little more financial support. This then directly propelled them to some major wins in World League a few years back and the following year they qualified for the Rio Olympic Games! They are now ranked sixth in the world and are among the best athletes in the world. My hope and dream is to leave our Women’s National Team Program in the same shape; that the hope and inspiration across all coaches, players, and aspiring athletes has been restored. And that Team Canada is a mighty force on the international stage in both the men’s and the women’s programs. 

 
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You might have heard or seen me say on various interviews over the years that "the dream has never felt so close." How close you ask? Well today the potential qualifying schedule was released and it looks a little bit different than it has in the past. In August 2019 there will be a first chance qualifier based on rankings; the top team will qualify for the Olympics. From there, the teams will get re-pooled according to their zones. For Team Canada, that is in the NORCECA zone which includes teams like Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The top four teams of our zone will play against each other and the winner will advance to the Olympics. Teams that we have already beat on multiple occasions. It will come down to who is more prepared, who has more support, and who wants it more on that particular day. New scheduling information also shows we will need to send two distinct teams to both the Olympic Qualifying Tournament and the Pan American Games (as they fall within the same week of each other). We will need extra funds and support this coming summer in order to have a strong showing at both events.

However in order to fulfil this dream of mine, I need your help. This is just one initiative that I hope will propel the Women’s team forward in the right direction. We have the athletes to get there, we have never doubted that, we just need a few more opportunities in order to secure our spot in Tokyo. So I ask you to come join our GiveFive initiative. I would love to work with you and help bridge the gap between the youth teams and our National Team. I would personally love to work with you and your teams so don’t be shy as we move forward in the next couple of years. I know so many of you are wanting to help push this organization forward. And I have been sacrificing a lot personally for this program since I was 16 years old when I first made the Junior Team (more than a decade ago!) So why can’t we start right now? Every small step is significant and instrumental for success. And if you have anything to say about the program, I humbly ask for you to come along side us, and along side me, and fully support your Women’s National Team as we make a break for the Olympics. We need everybody to be involved. And we need everybody’s support.

Thank you for taking time to read this. 

Canada, let’s get to Tokyo! 

Sincerely,

Kyla Richey

 
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Keep scrolling for more information and Watch our video here:

 
 

If that didn’t inspire you to give, donate, share, and support then maybe this will help:

Any club (no matter how big or small) that chooses to join the GiveFive will be entered to win a 2 Day Equip Volleyball Camp run by Olympian Rudy Verhoeff. The camp consists of 8hours of on court training and 2hours of classroom sessions. Rudy will come to your gym to bring his coaching and playing expertise to your athletes and coaches. These camps are a $3000 value. And schedule permitting, I hope I can be there as well with some of my teammates! 

Our vision is to unite the volleyball community across the country, support our women’s national team in their quest for Olympic qualifications, as well as give the opportunity to aspiring players to contribute to this journey. Let’s give our National Team every opportunity to compete on the world stage and qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics! 

Not a club coach? 

But an avid volleyball fan?

A devoted parent?

Did you miss your chance to #GiveFive at your tryout? Not to worry. Follow these steps:

  • Click: here.

  • Fill out the form (payment method and amount is at the end).

  • Make sure to choose #Givefive from the dropdown when asked “which program would you like to donate to?”

  • Feel the immediate positive effects from donating to an awesome cause. You’re rad.

Are you just a really awesome human?

Do you have some other awesome ideas?

Fire me a message and let’s connect! I love brainstorming and I love coffee. So let’s make it all happen! (Check out my contact page HERE and let me know what you have in mind!). Thanks again, Canada! 

Remember to share and comment below!

 
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