This statement is sad but true for those recently affected by the Moore, Oklahoma tornadoes; nothing brings a community closer than tragedy. Unfortunately, several of our AAU members live or play around the area, including a sports club with several volleyball teams competing in the upcoming AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships. The AAU wanted to reach out to Janet Brannon of the Oklahoma Edge Sports Academy to see how they fared. Her response was heart-breaking but hopeful.
Fortunately, no one suffered loss of life or injuries, but some did lose their homes. Her mother’s home was completely destroyed and the last several weeks since the natural disaster has been spent trying to salvage whatever they could find remaining in the debris. Brannon’s youngest daughter, who also plays on the 12-1s team, was in the Briarwood Elementary School when the tornado tore the roof off of the school. The audio recording from www.kfor.com that went viral is of child when the ceiling fell in on her. Luckily, she suffered only minor injuries.
Several players on her 16-1s team suffered damage to their family homes, along with a coach and two other players from different teams within the club.
The only thing they could count on after this tragedy was volleyball. But even that was taken from them when a second round of tornadoes and severe storms made its way through the same community. The Oklahoma Edge’s club facility was completely flooded and the clubs lost a week of practices while removing the sport court and vacuuming all of the water out of the facility.
Brannon said she is proud of the way the community and the nation have acted in this time of crisis for the small town of Moore, Oklahoma.
“It has been quite a difficult few weeks, but we are Oklahoma Strong and have continued to practice with our teams because this is the only normal that we all have and can enjoy for a few hours being able to shut out the bad memories, depressing debris that surrounds our city and upheaval that mother nature has caused,” Brannon said. “However, the way our club and community have risen together to conquer the challenges and the outpouring of help from across the world has been an amazing thing to witness!”
From all of us here at the AAU, good luck to your teams participating in the 2013 AAU Girls’ Junior National Volleyball Championships and always stay Oklahoma Strong.
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