The Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) would like to thank the Canadian Red Cross and the Government of Canada (Employment and Social Development) for financially supporting the OVA through the Granting Programs for Non-Profits and the Preventing Disease Transmission Training and Equipment Program opportunities. This emergency funding supported the OVA in delivering two different projects.
The first project was through the Preventing Disease Transmission Training & Equipment stream. This program targets front-line workers responding to COVID-19 in low to medium risk environments, in support of their direct service delivery to those who are the most vulnerable to the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19. The grant will help equip OVA staff with a supply of personal protective equipment and is providing training to 650 club staff and referees on how to use PPE properly to ensure their own and athletes health and wellbeing, while delivering volleyball programming across Ontario. All active OVA Clubs were given access for their Club Executives to obtain training. In addition, all Referee Development Team Members and OVA full-time staff were provided free access to the self-directed preventing disease transmission online training through the Canadian Red Cross.
“This online training is paramount in undertaking a safe return to volleyball in Ontario,” said Alishia Lidums, Director of Volleyball Operations. “The Canadian Red Cross online training program helps our frontline support staff, be it Club Contacts, Coaches, Referees or OVA staff, to safely deliver on-court training sessions or events by giving them the knowledge and practical application of how to use PPE in a safe and effective manner. It has been a great help in assisting with the return to our sport and we are very grateful for the opportunity the Canadian Red Cross and Government of Canada have given our Association.”
The second grant the OVA received was through the Granting Programs for Non-Profits and focused on adapting existing programming to a COVID-19 reality. This funding helped support the OVA to quickly adapt the summer indoor and outdoor volleyball athlete development Team Ontario programming from an in-person experience to a virtual led training program. The online program was delivered to 199 athletes between the ages of 13 and 17 from across Ontario.
Team Ontario athletes were able to stay engaged in volleyball through online training sessions led by four OVA Athlete Development staff and 30 Team Ontario coaches. Athletes learned about nutrition, mental health and performance, and how to train through social and physical distancing.
“The project was a big success for us. Being able to turn around and build an online program has allowed 199 athletes to connect with each other, their coaches, and with the sport of volleyball in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. It allowed youth aged 14-17 to break social isolation under Covid-19 lockdown. Thirty volunteer coaches were involved in leading the sessions and in creating a safe and engaging environment for the young players. We are extremely grateful to the Canadian Red Cross and Government of Canada for their financial support.” said LP Mainville, Director of Athlete Development.