“We did camps and clinics at various recreation centers and schools, and people used to always say “Hey you are those 2 girls that coach volleyball right?” and it
stuck!” states 2 Girls Volleyball Club Director Danielle Benson-Robinson as she recalls where it all began six years ago.
Soon after, 2GVC started after parting ways with another local volleyball club.
“We saw a need to cater to the underserved African American players; have them play together and charge a lower price. We coached in the local urban school system and saw the upper hand that the suburban schools had by playing club volleyball.“
At first, finding talent was an issue. Danielle, and Assistant Director Veronica Brownlee had to teach raw athletes how to play the game of volleyball. The younger players
had never played anything other than recreational volleyball. The two former collegiate athletes had their work cut out for them.
“We spent our first year getting beat up, but we took those losses and turned them into lessons. Most of our girls were playing up an age division or two, instead of players their own age. It was TOUGH, but we persisted!
Now many of the girls are among the best athletes in their school programs. 2GVC has also graduated players that have continued on to play at the collegiate level.
The club offers 3 competitive levels:
American ($1,500) – 13U-18U. January-June, 12 Play Dates (OVR/JVA/AAU), 2 practice days a week
Regional ($1,300) – 13U-17U. February-May, 10 Play Dates (OVR/AAU), 2 Practice days a week
Regional ($900) – 11U. 5 Play dates (OVR/AAU). 2 Practice days a week
The club dues also include uniforms, one Strength & Conditioning Session per week, Coaching fees , Administrative fees and Gym Rental. 2GVC rents court space from churches in the area who believe in the club’s mission and give a fair price.
To alleviate the financial burden on the families, 2GVC fundraises the club dues in a few ways. One is by asking the community to donate to the 2 Girls Volleyball Foundation 501c3. Another fundraiser is the club’s spirit wear team store. Also, 2GVC partners with local businesses in profit sharing campaigns.
Relationships with other clubs are important to the club’s success.
“We have made friends with other clubs in different parts of the state and we will travel to scrimmage and fellowship with them. It’s very cool that the game of volleyball unites people that otherwise would have never met” adds Benson-Robinson.
In addition, 2GVC started a partnership with with the Fuego Amigas club in the Dominican Republic five years ago, and teams will go in the summer for community services projects and will then play in a tournament against Dominican players from the region.
“I spend a lot of time in the Dominican Republic doing community service and on one of my trips I visited their gym. The director and I hit it off and we decided to work with each other to host tournaments and to collaborate on different service projects.
“Throughout the year, we provide the Fuego Amigas with knee pads, balls and t-shirts for practice.”
Benson-Robinson credits her club’s culture and the buy in from the athletes as the number one key to the success of 2GVC.
“We believe in WE over ME. All decisions are for the betterment of the TEAM not 1 individual player. The chant the club uses to start every match is “1 pass, 1 set, 1 hit, you gotta want it to win it, and we want it more…..together on 3″. Our girls buy into that system and it shows on the court.”
The club also takes the time to cultivate team chemistry before, during and post season. Get togethers range from from sleep overs to team bonding ropes courses, and anything in between.
Benson-Robinson and her 14 coaches make sure that when their teams step onto the court they are one unit, ready to go to battle, which is why the club’s motto is “2GVC vs Everybody“.
Benson-Robinson believes her coaching staff is another major part of our success.
“They coach because they love it, not for the money. They are always willing to go above and beyond for our girls. Whether it’s a ride to a tournament or supporting the girls during school season. There would be no 2GVC without their unwavering support!”
The club does not have plans to grow the number of girls teams. Benson-Robinson believes their current size allows herself and the coaches to stay as hands on as possible with the girls and maintain a personal relationship with them.
“I love these kids for who they are, not what they do for our program. I love their passion for the game and they love mine. t’s a great exchange of energy. There are days when it gets hard, but I always remember WHY we started 2GVC and how far we have come in a short amount of time.”
The club has considered partnering with someone to help start a boys program similar to 2GVC.
“One day their school and club seasons will come to an end. We want to make sure that we teach them life lessons through the game of volleyball.“
Through the game of volleyball, this JVA member club is making an impact on the Columbus community, and we are proud of how much they have accomplished together in such a short period of time.
2GVC was founded 6 years ago, with the goal to enrich the lives of young ladies by promoting the following through the game of volleyball. To learn more about the club visit https://www.twogirlsvolleyball.com/