Vic in Zimbabwe October 16, 2015

I am not sure how much internet time or available connection Vic has over in Zimbabwe, but I managed to get a few short emails giving me an idea of how his adventure is looking.

Zimbabwe flowersBefore Vic left on his adventure, Martin, the Head coach in Zimbabwe, sent this picture.

It is the beautiful Jacaranda season in Zimbabwe where the streets are lined with these gorgeous purple flowers!

I read further to find out that once these are done, a beautiful red breaks out on the ‘Flamboyant Trees’.

Vic’s adventure started in Dubai, having a casual coffee on a mild 30*C day, while watching Russia against Turkey in Volleyball. I need to ask how the coffee is in Dubai, since I am definitely a coffee fiend, and if I had a chance to travel the world, while some people might taste the wine, I would taste the coffee!

In Vic’s quick note he says, “Great adventure so far”. Even if it wasn’t great, he would make it great. Do any of you remember his trip to Manitoba where he rode his mountain bike the whole way? He was going through the Okanagan and became friends with a loooong-bearded homeless guy (This was before long beards were in), and they travelled together through the middle of BC. Vic said it was because this guy was really great at building fires. It made me realize where I get that from; that love of unique and interesting people. I often keep a quote book with me, because you never know who you might meet who says or does something you don’t want to forget!

Vic said he re-read the new volleyball book co-written with Dr. George MacMaster, and he is inspired and says that it looks great!

On with the adventure… Vic went on a hop on hop off bus tour all day and said Dubai makes Vancouver look like a village!

He found one area with Palms interesting to visit, and there was some deal with condos whereby if you buy a condo you get a car as a gift. The lower levels get nice cars, but the Penthouse gets a Lamborghini!

Vic says he decided not to buy.

As most of Vic’s adventures go, they would be less exciting if he didn’t take a wrong turn. I almost think he does it on purpose! Somewhere around the city centre mall was where this wrong turn happened and he went a very long way before attempting to ask directions.

When travelling in a foreign country it is best to think about what tools you need in order to communicate! Vic ended up at a shop where he met a Syrian refugee and somewhere in his attempt to get directions Vic realized he couldn’t pronounce the name of his hotel, and I am laughing pretty hard right now as I write this… Oh dad! For those of you who don’t know, my dad is brilliant, but pronouncing foreign names is not is strongest skill. But wait! How would he get back to the hotel then? Thankfully he had a picture of the hotel! THAT should be put in the travelling 101 handbook. Take a picture of where you need to go. That’s kind of Vic’s mantra, isn’t it? In this case, the literal sense was quite useful!

Discussing Manual with HEad Coach Robby

Finally, after a good sleep I am guessing, Vic made it to Zimbabwe! Here is a picture of Vic going over the Volleyball manual with one of the head coaches, Roddy.


Preparing for the adventure!

It was the late 1960s when Vic Lindal decided to start what is believed to be the first ever volleyball camp in North America, in a little place called Winfield, BC. It has since been renamed, ‘Lake Country’, probably because it is surrounded by Lakes, and in the middle of the whole town is ‘Wood Lake’. The large ‘Lake Okanagan’, home of the infamous Ogopogo, is just across the Highway, and Kalamalka Lake, which I remember to be a peaceful unique light green colour is at the North. There is a little Lake called ‘Ellison’ that appears on the south end of the town, but I seem to remember this Lake being called Duck Lake.

In the summer, Lake Country is always above 30*C (86*F) and often gets up to 45*C (113*F). The light grey sand feels as if your feet are about to blister in one step, and once you hit the ground anywhere in your bare feet you are running for water! It’s a good thing it’s lake country, because you are never too far from a place to cool down!

What Vic did in that little community spread like wild fire across North America, and now the sport of volleyball is enjoyed in a sing along camp out style event every summer throughout the continent! The Winfield camp later transferred to Williams Lake, and a dormitory style camp facilitated the many interested patrons.

Now, approximately 50 years later, Vic has decided to embark on a new adventure; Zimbabwe, Africa. I think he likes to start volleyball camps in very hot places! It seems Zimbabwe this time of year is actually slightly cooler than the 40 – 45 *C temperatures of the Okanagan summers, and comes in at ONLY 32 or 33 *C as a high, thankfully cooling down at night to 18 – 20. As for lakes to cool off in? I don’t know much about Africa, but I imagine that would be a little harder to find.

Many Universities from around North America have donated their old volleyballs, tablets for coaches have been donated, and a ‘GO Fund Me’ account has been started to help this volleyball camp get started.

Vic recently sent a note of thanks to the following contributors…

Volleyballs and uniforms were donated by: Reynolds Secondary, Volleyball BC, Lambrick Park Secondary, Oak Bay, Brentwood College, and other Universities around North America!

Tablets for the coaches were donated by ‘Data Wind’.

Dr. George McMaster, Dan Doherty, Sandy McMaster and Vic Lindal created a complete manual called,  ‘Radical Volleyball’. In it, they cover a lot that is not normally covered in the general Volleyball books. They focused on the EPV system to create a great program and teach all the skills. This is being printed in Zimbabwe at this moment!

Vic says, “Dr. George did a fantastic job and even added in some powerful concepts on breathing for centring and success. Tom Graham contributed his journey thru the BC team to the 76 Olympics. Jason Sinclair helped explain some aspects of the Break Out service reception. Chris Jenkins gave us his formula for 4 on 4 using the Jim Bjerring system.”

Vic is paying his own way to Zimbabwe, continuing his life long principles of volunteerism. He is a great example of giving back, even at the age of 78! He has created the ‘GoFundMe’ account in order to transport all the amazing donations of equipment, and plans to get to the airport early to negotiate!

Why Zimbabwe? Several years ago, in his ‘retirement’ from the sport of volleyball, Vic took up to coaching the Camosun Girls Volleyball team. Linda Henderson was coaching the men’s team at the time and was the Master coach to a man from Zimbabwe, Martin Dururu. I believe he got his level 4 via Camosun.

Vic says, “We travelled on the bus for hours to places like Prince George and College of the Rockies and had lots of time to help Martin with the EPV system and how he could use it when he got home.

Over the years we have arranged to send used Volleyballs from schools all over Canada and the US.

Some of you may know of the hyper inflation in Zimbabwe. In fact, you may know that it was so high that they eliminated their own currency and now use US, South African or Chinese currency.”

Vic stayed in touch, and when the idea came up for a camp, he took action. If anyone knows Vic, an idea is rarely just an idea. An idea to Vic almost always includes immediate action!

In this case, Vic says, ” The idea for Zimbabwe came to me and I sent a note to Martin to see what he thought. I said give me two possible dates, and I chose the least expensive air for October, booked the flight then booked my air and B &B. That meant I was committed.”

Vic also noted that Martin has met with his committee to put together a gruelling schedule!

The goal of the camp is to build a foundation to support the program so camps can run annually.

Vic arrives in Zimbabwe October 13, 2015, and even though he hasn’t even arrived at this camp yet, his final comment is, “Now to line coaches up for next year.”