Sept. 11, 2012
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan volleyball team will host its first-ever "Block Out Bullying" match this Friday morning (Sept. 14) against Eastern Michigan at 11 a.m. at Cliff Keen Arena. The event will bring more than 1,200 students from Ann Arbor and surrounding school districts to campus to participate in fun and educational activities with U-M student-athletes.
Students will gather in Oosterbaan Fieldhouse prior to the 11 a.m. match, where head coach Mark Rosen will address the group and show a special Michigan volleyball "Block Out Bullying" video. The kids will then participate in anti-bullying activities with the help of more than 50 Michigan student-athletes.
The Michigan volleyball players and coaches will wear special T-shirts during pregame with the name or phrase that they were bullied with on the back of the shirt. Each student also will receive a special 2012 anti-bullying team photo card, featuring both Michigan and Eastern Michigan, and each participating school will receive an autographed team poster. Between the second and third sets, the kids will fly paper airplanes they made at Oosterbaan with a name or phrase they have either been bullied with or something that they have called someone else before, "letting go" of those words or phrases.
"We were looking for a way to get people into the match and we also saw a great opportunity to connect to school kids and do something good for the community," Rosen said. "We didn't know how well the anti-bullying theme would be received, but it seems as though the schools view it as a really important subject. They are coming out to support this initiative and we are working to put together a really meaningful program. We think if we can have the student-athletes really share with the younger grade-school kids that we all went through this and you can survive this and get on the other side, then that is a positive thing. I think it is a really great opportunity for us and a great platform to help kids in the community."
Michigan's match against Eastern Michigan opens the Coke/Michigan Invitational. The Wolverines face Western Kentucky at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Duke at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 15).
Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423