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.”