Athletic association to add volleyball to offerings

Anoka Ramsey Athletic Association is launching a developmental youth volleyball program open to third through fifth graders with hopes to expand that age range in the future.

The season is scheduled to begin the second week of September and will continue  through the first week of November. An early-bird registration period will run from May 15 to July 15. Volleyball

This early registration will give the all-volunteer association time to buy the necessary equipment in time. In addition to league fees, part of the funding is coming fromfrom an Anoka Lions grant. Originally the funds from the Lions club were divided equally among the eight programs, but each program decided to give their portion to the start-up volleyball program.

The Tornadoes volleyball program has also supported the development with head coach Chris Fenwick set to organize a clinic the second week of August. Activities Director Gwen Poore offered to donate the gym time for the program.

Volleyball director Marnie Zak said the time is right to add an eighth sport the association’s offerings.

“This is a developmental league where the goal is not to win but to teach the fundamentals [of the game], build self-esteem and confidence where players learn to call a ball in the air, go after it and get three hits to make it over to the other side [of the net],” she said.

Zak has a daughter that started playing in sixth grade and noticed other communities offer a developmental league starting in seventh grade.

ARAA looked at how several community-based athletic associations formed a volleyball program to generate its own. Champlin Dayton Athletic Association is one group that continues to be very supportive of the new program and has offered to add ARAA teams to its schedule if team numbers are low.

Dirt Devil softball tourney set

Anoka-Ramsey will host the sixth annual Dirt Devil tournament May 30 to June 1 at Central Park in Ramsey. Last year participants were asked to bring a food donation for the ACBC Food Shelf. A drawing for Minnesota Twins tickets helped add a little motivation to the final total which took two full vans to bring the donations to the food shelf. The idea of a summer food drive comes at a very busy time for the food shelf with children out of school, looking for a meal.

For more information or to register visit

Jason Olson is at
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