Utah Valley volleyball will be Samoa-bound beginning May 3 and will stop first in New Zealand before arriving in Samoa on May 12 and will return home May 18.
Their first stop in New Zealand will allow the team to play volleyball and compete three times against some club teams and organizations there as well as do some sightseeing. The team will also be able to play in Samoa once during their visit, but the main focus once in Samoa will be much different.
“In Samoa the emphasis will be particularly doing humanitarian service with things that we’ve collected,” said head volleyball coach Sam Atoa.
Last fall, the islands were hit by a Tsunami, creating extensive damage and destruction. Atoa returned to his home country of Samoa this February to see firsthand the damage that was done and what aid the people could use.
Since then, UVU volleyball has been collecting items that they could take and distribute to the victims of the Tsunami that are in need. The team loaded a container and sent it on its way to Samoa on April 9.
The container is full of household items such as bedding, furniture, flooring, carpets and cleaning supplies as well as some 55-gallon water containers, school supplies, books, clothing, athletic equipment, medical supplies and toys that the team will distribute when they arrive.
The five days that they will spend in Samoa they will distribute the items and visit schools, the hospital and an elderly care facility.
Atoa is glad the team wants to visit the two countries. “I feel like the things that we are doing on this trip just gives them a much greater appreciation for what they have and an opportunity to be able to serve and give,” said Atoa. “It’s just the whole being able to provide a service for people that I think will be an experience they’ll never forget and being able to help out those that are a little less fortunate than they are right now,” he said.