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Volleyball academy serves Douglas players
by E. Marcel Pourtout
mpourtout@neighbornewspapers.com
July 02, 2014 11:33 AM | 1053 views | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout<br>From left, Hiram alumna Sarena Blanchard, South Paulding rising junior Caitlin Meyer, Chapel Hill rising senior Christa Haynes and East Paulding Middle School student Raisa Maria at Real Volleyball Academy practice last week.
Staff / E. Marcel Pourtout
From left, Hiram alumna Sarena Blanchard, South Paulding rising junior Caitlin Meyer, Chapel Hill rising senior Christa Haynes and East Paulding Middle School student Raisa Maria at Real Volleyball Academy practice last week.
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The Real Volleyball Academy, founded by Ronny Real three years ago, has provided young Douglas County players a centralized location in Hiram to improve their skills in the sport.

Real has had a distinguished playing and coaching career in volleyball, serving as a member of the Ecuadorian National Team along with training in Russia.

Real emigrated to the U.S. 14 years ago with his wife and fellow coach Ouliana Pagieva. The couple found its way to Douglasville with Real becoming a teacher and coach of the girls’ junior varsity team at South Paulding High School.

“I had the opportunity to attend a tournament while coaching at South Paulding and saw the difference between teams in our area and places like Cobb County that had teams practicing year around,” Real said. “Our players also couldn’t afford to play for those clubs. I’ve tried to start a club that works financially for kids in our area because I want to help them.”

The academy offers scholarships to players who perform well academically, he said.

The academy now has more than 40 girls in its program and has participated in tournaments throughout the Southeast since its launch. Its club season runs from January to May but there are still players at the facility this summer preparing for their high school seasons, which begin in August.

South Paulding rising junior Caitlin Meyer said, “We’re conditioning right now to stay in shape and keep our skills up while moving forward.”

Chapel Hill rising senior Christa Haynes said, “We’re in a small group so you can get more one-on-one time and coach Real runs good drills that will get us ready.”

Real also has placed his focus on an even younger generation of players.

“We want to get the players at an early age so that they can enter high school ready to compete,” said Real. “I want to work with the middle school teachers and principals to create a league for our area.”

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