By EMILIE THIESSEN
After a successful trial season last spring, Swanville volleyball coach Kerie Thoma said she hopes to start training the girls for a Junior Olympic (JO) volleyball league in December.
During the trial period, the girls were able to play in five tournaments over the course of six months.
“Their skill level increased tremendously because of the trial and it was very noticeable this year,” Thoma told the Swanville School Board on Tuesday.
More than 30 girls in grades 7-12 have expressed interest in joining the team, a number that would merit four separate teams, Thoma said.
Because JO volleyball is not considered a school sport, all transportation, tournament, equipment and uniform costs would need to be covered by a per-student fee. To cover additional costs, Thoma said she will be asking for a donation from the Swanville Lions Club during its next board meeting in December.
“We are looking at a fee of $200 per girl,” Thoma said. “That will cover everything we need this year, with no help from the Lions Club. But if we get money from the Lions Club it will be to build the program so in the future it would maybe cost less for each girl. It would also cover tournament fees and some equipment costs.”
Thoma said a donation from the Lions Club would be a very helpful bonus for all the girls looking to join on the team.
“I think a JO team is exactly what we need to get out sports back up,” Jay Loven, Swavnille School Board chair said. “I think this is a great deal.”
Practice for the 12- and 13- year-old girls would start in December, Thoma said, while the older girls would have their first practice in January. The first tournament is schedule for March and the season would end in June.