Volley4Change seeks to level the playing field in girls sports

Volley4Change seeks to level the playing field in girls sports

Three rising high school seniors created Volley4Change to help tackle injustices they saw firsthand growing up playing youth sports.

“Volley4Change is an initiative to address the inequities that exist within volleyball, particularly financial and locational barriers that prevent a lot of girls of color from excelling in the sport,” said co-founder Meg Houseworth.

Volley4Change founders (from left) Cherie Animashaun, Meg Houseworth and Margaret Adams.
Credit: Heidi Randhava

The newly formed nonprofit aims to help girls overcome racial and economic barriers to entry in competitive volleyball – the second most popular sport for girls in the United States, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations.

Houseworth, a varsity volleyball player and soon-to-be senior at Evanston Township High School and Margaret Adams, also a rising senior at ETHS, joined Cherie Animashaun, who will be a senior at Niles West High School, to launch the Volley4Change free summer camp, “hoping to give girls of all backgrounds an equal shot at becoming volleyball players at the high school level,” Animashaun wrote in a letter to the RoundTable.

On Saturday, July 30, the Volley4Change campers and coaches gathered at Clark Street Beach.

“This is our final day tournament – ​​a beach day and potluck to celebrate what we created – and having all the girls here is so special,” said Houseworth, adding that girls who were not part of the camp were also invited to join in the fun.

The camp was held 10 am to noon on Tuesdays and Fridays in July at Mason Park.

“We had outdoor nets on the grass, and we had coaches helping mostly middle school-age girls build skills and sportsmanship within a team. … We had quite a large audience, so we expanded the age range. Our youngest is a rising fourth grader, and our oldest players are going into ninth grade,” said Adams.

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