My series of Olympic related articles around London 2012 has seen me write about developments of sports in the past, and past athletes. I’ve also talked about inspiring moments from right now, and that’s where I’m going today with volleyball…
Great British women’s volleyball to be even more precise.
When beach volleyball first arrived at the Olympics in 1996 I had my doubts, wondering if it was a dumbing down of the Games – was it serious enough?
Well of course I was wrong – it’s as athletic as the indoor game, and does add some great spectacle and a boost of media interest. I enjoyed watching a live London 2012 session, and that prompted me to look closer the indoor game.
When London was awarded the Games back in 2005, UK Sport did what lots of Olympic host nations do – they went into overdrive to see how the medal count could be maximised.
That involves looking across the whole spectrum of sports to figure out which ones would benefit from a big input of money, via lottery funding.
One such sport that was considered as ‘developable’ was women’s volleyball.
After a few years with funding, however, and with the recession and all the implications that brings, the funding was cut in 2010.
That meant no staff, no training facilities, no accommodation, no medical support, no sports science support, no athlete support funding.
All gone, tap suddenly turned off.
The difference the funding makes is massive, because without it the sports have to fend for themselves. It’s real sink or swim stuff.
Volleyball is not a huge sport in the UK, but it does has a fairly established presence. So, after the funding cut, the squad decided they would tap into that presence and raise the money for themselves.
They set up a website, which has various fundraising activities, most notably the ‘Adopt a Olympian’ idea. That means a school can adopt one player – the school has to commit to fundraising events, and in return they get massive access to the player.
Signed kit, visits from the player and so on, which all goes to inspire the school kids in sports participation, and using different approaches and hard work to follow your goals.
What a great idea, and a great example of not accepting the end of a goal. Set backs happen, other people make decisions that have massive negative impact, and it’s up to you how you react.
That’s all in addition to the sacrifices made by the individual players to get to the Games – giving up jobs, moving home, playing abroad, etc, etc.
Take a moment if you can to visit their site, (click on the picture above) and in the ‘news’ section, they have personal videos of their Olympic experience – you can really connect with the individuals.
At the Games, the women are holding their own against teams ranked much higher than themselves, so if you get a chance to have a look, watch the team play in their remaining group games, and think to your own goal – what different ideas could you apply to *your* goal to move things forward?
Let me know what you think – leave a comment here or on Facebook, etc
‘Til next Time,
Health & Happiness,
P.S. I wrote my book ‘Transform Your Life in 21 Days!’ back in 2003. It contains ideas just like the ones in this article, and is now just $2.99!
P.P.S. If you fancy making money from sport, grab my guide here!