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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE --February 25, 2000
Contact: John Johnson or Andy Frushour-- 517.332.5046

Girls Volleyball Finals CHAMPS Clinic Sign-Up Begins

CHAMPS clinic registration form

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Feb. 25 - To enhance the atmosphere of selected tournament finals, the Michigan High School Athletic Association is in its second year of conducting youth clinics, with registration now underway for the second annual clinic at the Girls Volleyball Finals in Kalamazoo on March 18.

CHAMPS (Cooperation, Hard Work, Attitude, Motivation, Participation, Sportsmanship) Clinics target local female junior high/middle school-aged students and their parents in a morning-long workshop designed to provide game skills and life skills information. The CHAMPS Clinics are free, and are underwritten by Farm Bureau Insurance and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.

Enrollment in the CHAMPS Clinic is limited to the first 80 girls and their parents - parental attendance is a requirement. The clinic will take place from 9 a.m. to Noon in the University Arena and Student Recreation Center on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, where the four MHSAA Girls Volleyball Finals will take place.

Applications have been sent to MHSAA member schools in the greater Kalamazoo area. An application may also be downloaded from the MHSAA Web Site - www.mhsaa.com.

"The feedback we've had from our initial CHAMPS Clinics has been very positive," said John E. "Jack" Roberts, executive director of the MHSAA. "Some people believe that you can't get anything for free anymore, but in one three-hour clinic, the young people and their parents receive a great dose of game skill training and life skill information from some of the best clinicians around."

Student-athletes will be led in the volleyball clinic by former Western Michigan University two-time Mid-American Conference Most Valuable Player Heather Sawyer, now a graduate assistant in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at WMU, and a group of high school coaches from around the state. Jeff Wilson of the South Western Michigan Sports Medicine Clinic will prepare the players for their activities with an extensive warm-up session.

The clinicians for the parent's portion of the program include: WMU women's volleyball coaches Cathy George and Russ Carney; Tia Brandell, Ferris State University women's volleyball coach; Traci Morin, a member of WMU's women's volleyball team and a USA National Volleyball Team member; Jeff Stone, assistant director for academic support in the WMU athletic department; and Dr. Deb Berkey, chair of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Department at WMU. Dr. Berkey's presentation will focus on parent's sportsmanship, and include a viewing of the MHSAA-produced video, "What Kids Wish Their Parents Knew About Sportsmanship."

All youngsters participating in the CHAMPS Clinic will receive a t-shirt, and lunch will be provided for all players and parents. CHAMPS Clinic participants and their parents will also be guests of the MHSAA for the Girls Volleyball Finals that day, and the participating youngsters will be recognized on-court at the conclusion of the Class D championship match.

Registrations must be submitted by March 10. For more information, contact: Heather Sawyer, Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, Western Michigan University, 4024 Student Recreation Center, Kalamazoo, MI 49008-3871. Telephone: 616/387-2701.

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,300 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments conducted in 12 sports for girls and 12 sports for boys which attract approximately 1.3 million spectators each year.