The Edmond Sun

Local News

July 7, 2010

Community spirit aids UCO event

EDMOND — Home Depot supplied wood for court sub-flooring.

Santa Fe High School football players helped with court setup.

An Edmond-based Paralympic athlete volunteered to support volleyball player-friends.

Iran’s championship-quality team was trying to make it to the event.

The upcoming 2010 Sitting Volleyball Worlds at the University of Central Oklahoma are an eclectic blend of community in the local sense and community in the global sense. UCO and Edmond will be home to about 640 athletes and coaches from across the globe through July 18. Teams will compete for slots in the 2012 London Paralympic games.

Opening ceremonies will be from 7-9 p.m. Saturday on the UCO campus at Hamilton Field House. The ceremonies will include recognition of teams from each nation and a wide variety of entertainment with an Oklahoma flair.

Wellness Center Director Mark Herrin, who was helping set up courts, said planning for the event began 3 years ago, and was coming together well thanks to the staff and volunteers.

“Right now we’re on schedule,” Herrin said. “We’ll be ready for the arrival of these teams.”

Herrin said the strong sense of community is one of the things that makes Edmond a great place to live, and community is one of UCO’s core values along with health and wellness.

“Corporately we can pull off events like this,” Herrin said. “Without the support of all the volunteers, all the businesses here in Edmond, we couldn’t do this.”

Wednesday afternoon, work was progressing on setting up the four competition courts — two in the Wellness Center and two in Hamilton Field House. Adding to the community spirit, the courts were donated by USA Volleyball, said Elliot Blake, sitting volleyball coordinator for UCO and USA Volleyball.

Following some last-minute adjustments, the courts were coming together at the Field House, Blake said. Remaining tasks to be done included readying the scorekeeper’s table and technical pieces such as the home base for the master official, he said.

“Yesterday in our initial stage, we were a little bit behind, but today we’ve been making great progress,” Blake said. “We’re catching right back up to where we’re supposed to be. We’re gonna have everything set in place and ready to go very quickly.”

Jeremy Campbell, a UCO-based athlete, was helping set up one of the courts at the Field House.

Campbell, who was born without a fibula in his right leg, and wears a prosthetic, is a medal-winning pentathlete supported by Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics. Campbell said UCO and Edmond do a lot to support athletes. He also knows most of the local volleyball players.

“If I was competing, I like it when they show up and watch me, and I want to support them and basically be a part of this,” Campbell said.   

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