Two summers ago, Drake Volleyball Traveled to Costa Rica for our first ever foreign tour.
We flew out of Des Moines and connected into Atlanta. We then took off from there, and after 4 hours on a plane we landed into San Jose International Airport. The first couple nights we stayed in the city. Where we got to walk around, sight see, hang out on the beach, etc. We played two clubs team from the area, and we also put on local clinics for all ages of volleyball players who were looking to get better. The last day in San Jose, we played the National team from Costa Rica, where we won 3-0.
The whole point of hosting the clinics and playing against the local teams was the Sports Bra drive that we put on. In Costa Rica, women’s sports are not a high priority. The women there have a lack of resources when it comes to basic equipment, not only to play volleyball, but sports in general. It might be hard to believe, but there is a shortage of sports bras in Costa Rica. Which, when exercising as a female, it is one of the most needed items. Without them, it makes it really hard to participate in physical activities. So, our goal as a team was to gather 100 new or lightly used sports bras, that we took over with us, and passed out at the clinics and games. We also brought a bunch of old jerseys that the program no longer used, knee pads, spandex, socks, and volleyball shoes that us players did not wear anymore, or any extras that we had in equipment.
After our adventures in San Jose, we then traveled to La Fortuna where we hiked through the rainforest, and down to a beautiful waterfall and got to swim up to it. After our hike, we then rode our own individual horses back to where we started the hike.
Lastly, we went to Tamarindo where we zip lined a few miles over the tops of the of rainforests.
The best part of the whole experience was getting to meet volleyball players from another country and listen to their experiences and what they have been through as a female athletes. It was also so fun to share the knowledge that we have learned and then to learn what they had to give us as well. Sometimes it is really hard to understand how good we have it in the United States, with all the opportunities that are given to get college paid for from volleyball and even growing up, the programs that are available to us. So, it was a really an eye opener to just realize that we cant take anything for granted, because we could not be anymore luckier than what we are. It was also amazing to bond with these girls as much as we did in just the short amount of time that we were with them. I even added a bunch of them on social media as well and still talk to a few. That was definitely the best part of the whole trip. Yes, we got to see amazing landmarks and hang out on a beach, but the friendships that we made was definitely the best part.