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MAKING A MARK: Volleyball coach brings the sport to underprivileged communities

Shauntelle Page is helping sharpen skills for girls on and off the volleyball court. She's expanding access to the sport and paying forward the impact of the game.

CHESAPEAKE, Va. — Shauntelle Page is hard to miss -- and it's not just because she's 6'1".

The volleyball coach at Deep Creek Middle and High schools in Chesapeake said she also has a mean spike.

And her love of the game is a close match for her love of the community. 

Page volunteers as a coach for a community youth team, teaching volleyball to girls from underprivileged communities.

"Everybody has this image in their head of what volleyball players look like. And for the most part, they don't look like me or any girls that look like me," she said.

"There are so many other people that are just like me that just wanted a chance. They just wanted a chance. They could be great if you give them a chance. And so, I wanted to be that chance."

Some of the girls from Shauntelle's community team have gone on to play competitively or even attend college on volleyball scholarships.

"It made it so that they had opportunities elsewhere, to go to school and take that major that they didn't think they were going to be able to take," she said.

"I know how it feels to think, 'Oh gosh, I want to be better. I want to be more competitive. I want to be at a new level of volleyball.' And to not imagine yourself at that place. But then, to make it there and to see how just how unbelievable it really, truly is, I love it. I love these kids, man!"

Page said the game of volleyball can change lives for the better, just as it did for her.

"I've watched these girls, especially a lot of the ones that I have coached, I have watched them kind of come in to their own, kind of understand that it's okay to just love who they are and to be confident in who they are," said Page. "And that training, that moment is carrying over into their everyday life where they are saying, 'I'm here and I'm present'."

Page's community youth volleyball team plays year-round and is open to girls ages 12 to 16. To sign up or learn more, email shauntellepage@yahoo.com. 

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