Haitian girls’ volleyball team – and Starlings
Posted originally on the Youth Without Borders website. For more, visit http://youthwborders.org.
This morning’s message on my Haiti trip is much more hopeful than yesterday’s of the orphanage. These photos are of the Haitian National Volleyball Training Team. They only have a girls’ team for now; ages 12 to 15; and one of the five sports selected to train exceptional athletes from all over Haiti. In all, there are about 130 kids who live at the national sports center where they train as well as go to school.
The director of the Haitian sports ministry explained that they were all anemic upon arrival and most had never gotten three meals a day before coming to the center. As seen, their practice court is a sagging net on dirt but I saw some real talent. They have two coaches who are Cuban (most of the coaches of the five sports were sent from Cuba to as volunteers).
It might not surprise you that I am going to pursue immediately their coming to San Diego in June as an invited team for the Starlings National Championships. Thus, our annual Literary/Art theme and fundraising efforts of our 3,000 Starlings girls will be to raise money to bring them to San Diego (and hopefully other tournaments throughout the US). I think it would be a phenomenal vehicle to raise awareness of Haiti and help create a new source of hope and pride for the Haitian people.
I’ll be in touch on this and will follow this email with the new uniforms that Lily Richardson presented to these girls last week.
– Byron Shewman