NEW ORLEANS, La. - Call it the clinic with no name. But you can also call it the clinic with an abundance of substance and a wealth of meaning.
This is the third year that the New Orleans Privateers Volleyball Team, led by head coach Kim Young-Buford, conducted a clinic for over 40 girls involved in the
New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) volleyball program. The clinic was held at the NORDC Treme Recreation Center on Thursday evening.
"It's girls and sports and this is who we are," said Young-Buford. "We are women and we like to keep young girls active. It's about celebrating girls and having them love the game of volleyball."
Djuna Johnson, REC Center Manager at the Treme Center, has worked with New Orleans Volleyball every year on the clinic. She says it gets better every year.
"It's a blessing seeing the glow in the eyes of the children when they are able to meet the college athletes and are able to touch hands with people who are actually on the big stage," said Johnson.
One unique aspect of this clinic is the absence of coaches. Coach Young-Buford wants her student-athletes to run the event – and they do.
Lauren Gauthier, NORDC Girls' Programing Coordinator, was impressed.
"It's really empowering and the girls get to witness a lot of empowered females from UNO teaching them athletic skills and life skills," said Gauthier.
Another important part of the New Orleans student-athlete experience is "service learning" and it's important that they are supporters and great partners in the community. Planning and executing the clinic re-enforces what the athletes learn in the athletic department's Life Skills Program, directed by Dr. Charles Small, Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Enrichment.
"They'll do an educational topic at the end of the camp. It's a chance to practice their public speaking and that's a transferable skill in their development," said Small. "We're doing something great for the community but our student-athletes are developing with this experience."
Coach Young-Buford is proud that her team does a great job of teaching the girls the importance of trust and communication in team sports. And there's one thing she'd like to change when the next clinic rolls around.
"We're going to have a name for it. We're going to put our stamp on it and keep this relationship with NORDC."
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