Tournament press release available

By · June 13, 2011 · Read More: 2011 | In the News

Contact: Byron Shewman, Executive Director

To download complete release as PDF, click here.

Starlings open National Tournament with Haiti in mind

Over 120 teams headed to San Diego with mission of fun, fundraising

SAN DIEGO – Although media coverage has long since faded, large portions of Haiti remain in rubble after the catastrophic January 2010 earthquake.

One group of girls is hoping to change that by embracing the sport they love.

Starlings Volleyball Club USA will host its 14th annual Starlings National Championship June 17-19 in San Diego. The tournament is an annual celebration of the nonprofit organization’s holistic approach of developing the body, mind and spirit of the young athlete.

Over 120 teams from across the country in four age divisions will play during three days of competition. But before a single volleyball is served, the tournament kicks off June 16 with its Opening Ceremony, a fun and festive event that this year focuses on helping children in Haiti.

This year’s special guest will once again be Edeline Felizor, a survivor of the 2010 Haiti earthquake who is rehabilitating in San Diego. Felizor was rescued from the rubble of her three-story teachers’ college. She had a broken neck and five fractured vertebrae, and was unable to receive medical care for her injuries for days. It was in a local clinic where she met Starlings Executive Director Byron Shewman, who arranged for her treatment both in Haiti, and later, in San Diego.

A teacher and nurse by training, Felizor dreams of returning to Haiti to build and oversee a school. The Starlings have pledged support both financially and creatively. Despite their own economic challenges, players have raised thousands of dollars to help children in Haiti and to support Project Edeline. The subject is also the theme of the 2011 Starlings Literary/Art Contest. For more on the project, visit

Schedule of events:

  • Thursday, June 16 – Opening Ceremony at Sweetwater High School, 7 p.m.

Celebration includes presentation of annual Literary/Art Contest winners. Special appearance by Edeline Felizor, survivor of 2010 Haiti earthquake and inspiration behind Project Edeline.

  • Friday-Saturday, June 17-18 – Starlings National Tournament, Day I & II

Sites include Alliant University and San Diego City College’s Harry West Gym. Matches begin on both days at 9 a.m. Play is scheduled to end on Friday at 9 p.m. and Saturday at 9 p.m.

Sunday, June 19 – Starlings National Tournament, Final Day

Tournament concludes with play at Alliant University and San Diego City College’s Harry West Gym. 18s final is expected to begin at 6 p.m. at Alliant. Opportunity for interviews following match.


Beginning with a single inner-city San Diego team in 1996, today Starlings is the largest junior volleyball club in the nation ─ serving some 3,000 girls in 50-plus clubs across America. The guiding concept has been to provide an opportunity for girls (ages 10-18) to participate regardless of their socioeconomic background. Club dues, if any, are a fraction of most junior club costs and no girl is turned away because of inability to pay.

Visit for more information. The tournament hashtag is #Starlings11.

To download complete release as PDF, click here.


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