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AAU Tournament - Volleyball Development Camps
AAU Tournament 2019-03-25T22:09:14+00:00
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2019 AAU National tournament in Orlando, Florida, on 21-24 June.

Volleyball Development Camps has been invited by the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States to send an under-18 womens team to its 2019 AAU National tournament in Orlando, Florida, on 21-24 June.

In a fast-track pace to assemble the squad in less than 90 days, VbDC put together a coaching and administration team in early March, set the first meeting of interested parties for 26 March, and will conduct the first training session on 15 April. In order to put a competitive team into the International Division of the 180-court tournament, VbDC will attempt to arrange several weekend training sessions, a final try-out session, and as many days of intensive training just prior to departing for the tournament as possible.

All training sessions are currently scheduled to take place in the UK, but VbDC is looking for venues in Europe where at least one session can be scheduled.

The value of participation in the tournament for athletes of a high skill level cannot be underestimated; some 600 US university volleyball coaches and scouts attend the tournament in order to spot potential candidates for their teams. Students seeking financial support to US universities use the AAU National as a platform for displaying their abilities to the coaches and scouts.

The VbDC team will play in the International Division of the tournament, in which a few select clubs from outside the US, and national teams, compete. It begins just after the finals of the Apex and Pinnacle U-18 divisions for US clubs, and simultaneously with all U-17 divisions, at which coaches are looking for athletes for their teams in the 2020-21 school year.

Former VbDC campers are eligible to try out for the tournament team, and others who have an interest in participating must make their interest known to VbDC as soon as possible. The contact e-mail is: vbdc.volley@gmail.com, through the VbDC website at www.vbdc.co.uk, or by telephoning or texting +44 (0)7376 072 368.

Interested persons should contact VbDC before 5 April in order to obtain a prospectus, and to put their name on the weekly updates e-mail list.

Final cost of the tour is still being determined, but the objective is to make the trip as affordable as possible so that all athletes who are genuine contenders for a place on a US university interscholastic varsity team can participate. The organizers are working from an estimated budget of £3,000 (c. €3,500; US$3,950), with the objective of reducing that amount as much as possible. That fee will include air fare, all food and accommodation, registration of the team, playing uniform, guidance on how to interact with coaches and scouts, 24/7 coaching and chaperoning, room and board for all UK-based training sessions, and all administration. Athletes will be responsible for transport to and from the training sessions, and a £30 hall hire and lunch charge for each day of the training sessions held in the UK.

There are alternative methods of making contact with interested university coaches, but competition for scholarships is fierce, and those methods are even more expensive and time consuming. They are likely to involve many months of hit-and-miss communications; at least one lengthy trip to the US to visit schools; attending a number of university-run camps; or joining a US club and regularly attending training sessions in order to earn a place on that club’s traveling squad.

Of course, there is no guarantee that an appearance at a tournament will ensure a university offer, but it does enable participants to be seen in the company of, and in competition with, the tens of thousands of young women who try out for financial assistance through university sports departments each year.

If participation is of interest, athletes and their coaches must act fast. The one thing that has already become apparent to VbDC’s organizers is that a commitment to take part requires as quick a reaction to the opportunity as will the athlete’s reaction on the court of play.