Immediately following the Lady Rattlers volleyball game in Al Lawson Sunday afternoon, several volleyball players and their staff hosted a volleyball clinic for the first time. This event was open and free to young boys and girls from grades first to eighth.
“This is the first time we are hosting this event, it’s a free clinic for kids at every school in Tallahassee,” said head coach Gokhan Yilmaz. “There is a city league in Tallahassee, they are promoting it. So, it’s always open to everyone.”
One of the main goals for this event is to build a fan base for the Lady Rattlers. FAMU is known for showing up and showing out, so they would like the attendance in home games to be consistent. Being that the volleyball team is 6-1 in the MEAC Division, they need all the support possible.
Former volleyball player and FAMU Alumna, Dei’ja Martin, was surprised by the event.
“This event is great because when I was on the team we didn’t have events like this. I believe this will give a positive outlook for the girls and bring more fans in,” said Martin.
Being that this was the first time the Rattlers held this event, they didn’t know what to expect. Drawing a nice crowd, head coach Yilmaz was impressed with the turn out.
“We want the kids to come here and work with our staff and work with our girls and get connected with our group. We want them to get proper training while still having a fun experience. I am thankful for the turn out because we want to gain fans. We will continue to host this event every year,” said Yilmaz.
Many young girls gathered in Al Lawson and joined the volleyball players and staff members as they demonstrated proper ways to strike the ball, serve and other positions. After stretching and getting warmed up, most of the girls started catching on quickly, gaining knowledge on the sport early on in the clinic. By the end of the clinic, everyone was a natural!
“While I was watching the young girls learning on quickly, that made me smile because I have a young daughter myself. She loves volleyball so I’m glad they are hosting this event each year for free. We attend some of the home games together and she watches the game and gets so happy,” said FAMU Alumnus Jonathan Allen, who attended the volleyball game with his daughter.
Each year the Lady Rattlers will host this volleyball clinic and open it to the public for free, according to Yilmaz.