February 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Mongolia Sitting Volleyball Sports Visitors Program
The Mongolia Sitting Volleyball Sports Visitors program took place in February 2014 in Oklahoma City, OK. The program consisted of 12 participants total — 11 female players and 1 male coach. Several provinces and the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, were represented. The program lasted 10 days in total.
The participants attended a program orientation upon arrival and participated in several team-building activities. The main component of the program, aside from the curriculum, was the sitting volleyball clinics at the UCO Wellness Center. They were coached by Bill Hamiter, the Head Coach of USA Volleyball and high performance director for the U.S. Sitting Volleyball Teams. They were able to learn new skills, techniques, and share in a cultural exchange with the US players. While there they also had the opportunity to try other adaptive sports like goal ball and archery. Goal ball was a very unique experience because they had to play blindfolded and learn what it was like to play with a different disability.
In addition to the clinics and curriculum, the group attended many cultural activities like a visit to the Oklahoma Science Museum and the National Cowboy & Western Heritage museum. They also were able to tour the athletic facilities at the University of Oklahoma. A major highlight of the program was the visit to Limbs for Life Foundation, where five of the participants were surprised with new prosthetics. This was an incredible life changing experience. After this they participated in community service work at City Rescue Mission and were able to give back to the homeless and underserved families in OKC. They helped organize the food and donations as well as interacted with people who were coming to receive the food and donations. The culmination of the program was the presentation of their action plans, which took place on the last day. They divided up by rural and urban areas and will support each other upon return.