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MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Concordia Wisconsin's Women's Volleyball provided 45 girls from Garden Homes Lutheran School and Church much more than a chance to learn about fundamentals and being active, but a chance to interact and be a role model for those in grades 3-8 the last two Fridays.
Junior Ariana Richmond was one of the nine Falcons to provide the campers a chance to not only learn about the fundamentals and skills related to volleyball, but also give them a chance to gain friendship and ask questions about being a collegiate student-athlete.
On March 1 and 8, a 90-minute camp was set up each time to connect Concordia Wisconsin and Garden Homes Lutheran School, with the key link being volleyball.
"The girls were really eager to play and some of them had said they never heard of or played volleyball before," Richmond stated. "That was interesting, but they were all really excited to do something active."
During the two Friday sessions, the energetic girls were taught the basics of volleyball; passing, form, partner toss, setting and hitting – which ended up being the most fun as balls were going over and under the net. They also played volleyball related games and asked the girls to pick partners that weren't their friends to increase interaction.
During the two days, the nine Falcon student-athletes were opened to the importance of being a role model for today's youth.
"I think one of the big things is you never really know the impact you can have on kids that are younger than you," Richmond said. "I know sometimes we take for granted the opportunities we have as a collegiate student-athlete, but you never know who is watching or wants to grow up and be like you. Especially, when these younger kids can have a role model in their life who is able to talk about school and sports is really important."
Following each day, especially in the second session, there was time set aside for the girls to ask about college, academics, sports and friendship.
"It is very important to be a role model," the South Elgin, Illinois native said. "So, whether you think you have an impact or not, you do. These girls remembered us from the first time to the second and everything we did. They would come from one station to the next and say 'I remember what you told me last time'. During the second camp, we could see the trust was built and the listening was better when we were interacting with the girls."