The A5 Volleyball Club of Alpharetta visited rural villages of Botswana in Nov. 2019.
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The A5 Volleyball Club of Alpharetta visited rural villages of Botswana in Nov. 2019.

For students, sports yield a variety of skills and lessons beyond the field or court like teamwork, perseverance, and confidence. While sports in Georgia are dominated by football, baseball, basketball and soccer, another sport is on the rise, as well.

Volleyball is now the number one sport played by high school girls in America, seeing major growth in schools and clubs across the country.

On Second Thought host Virginia Prescott speaks with Sasha Ratliff, Savannah Bray, Connor Lounsberry and Bob Westbrook.

One Georgia volleyball club aims to leverage the popular sport to bridge cultural divides. The athletes and coaches from the A5 Volleyball Club in Alpharetta spent their Thanksgiving break traveling to Africa where they shared their love for volleyball with young kids living in rural Botswana.

On Second Thought sat down with coaches and athletes from the club to hear the details of the trip. High school seniors Sasha Ratliff and Savannah Bray are athletes at A5. Connor Lounsberry, a coach and videographer for the trip, and Bob Westbrook, coach and co-founder of the A5 Club, also joined the conversation.

“They had so little and they gave so much,” Westbrook described. “It was humbling to see what they wanted to give us of themselves. And it demanded the same from us.”

The A5 Volleyball Club plans to partner with the Botswana Volleyball Federation, exchanging equipment and coaching expertise, in hopes of forming a team to represent the country in future Olympic games.

 

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The athletes of the A5 Volleyball Club teaching children from Botswana how to play.
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The athletes of the A5 Volleyball Club teaching children from Botswana how to play.
In addition to teaching volleyball, the club also got to see the natural beauty of Botswana.
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In addition to teaching volleyball, the club also got to see the natural beauty of Botswana.
The volleyball club encountered plenty of wildlife on their visit to Botswana.
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The volleyball club encountered plenty of wildlife on their visit to Botswana.