Central Jersey Volleyball Academy Wins JVA Club of the Month
February 8, 2019 | Categories: Members, Awards, News, Blog, Club Director
Central Jersey Volleyball Academy (CJVA) was founded in 2005 out of the Somerville YMCA by Al Mottern.
In 2008 CJVA opened it's first dedicated volleyball facility. Raritan Athletic Center (RAC) is a 15,000 square foot facility located in the heart of the Hunterdon County with 35-foot clear span ceilings, three regulation size courts with 14 feet off end lines for jump serving, supported by a SportCourt orthopedic subfloor, a team room for meetings or video screening, and plenty of room for seating.
CJVA's founder, Al Mottern, was instrumental in cultivating a family atmosphere within the club. When he succumbed to cancer and passed away on November 1st, 2013... the night before tryouts began... every single club parent, player and coach came together to help make tryouts a success, giving Kym's family time to mourn and make funeral arrangements. CJVA was Al's family—On the night of his funeral service, the church was packed with hundreds of current and former players and families who had come to express their gratitude for the community that he had built and share stories about him.
"Looking back during the service and seeing that the room was so full, people had to stand in the back, I realized that CJVA was so much more than just a volleyball club... it was our volleyball family" shares CJVA Director Kym Mottern.
"Shortly afterwards, we decided to take a leap of faith. I had quit my job a few months earlier to care for Al and take on additional responsibilities with CJVA. After much discussion, CJVA's Director of Player Development, Andrea Salazar, left her full-time job and we decided to commit to growing the club, full-time."
As the club grew, CJVA rented space in a couple schools as satellite locations, and on New Year's Day 2018 the newest facility opened, Diamond Sports Center, in East Hanover. The new 22,000 square foot facility has 30-foot clear span ceilings, four Taraflex courts (including one court from the 2016 Rio Olympics), office space and a team room for meetings or video screening. In preparation for Phase 2, plans are to have 6,000 square feet above the office space to complete a mezzanine for viewing terrace, a fitness room, and a pro-shop. The leadership is actively looking to expand again and open a four-court facility in 2021.
CJVA's mission is to develop and promote the sport of volleyball in New Jersey. The leadership is committed to teaching and training volleyball players of all ages, as well as educating coaches to be teachers of our sport.
"We believe teaching positive lifelong character traits including sportsmanship, leadership, and cooperation are important to the success of our teams and the growth of our players" adds Kym. "We pride ourselves in creating a unique atmosphere that fosters a true sense of family. The idea of hard work and family are what makes CJVA Stronger."
CJVA has evolved into an extensive volleyball organization providing a full spectrum of services to the volleyball community including:
- Club Volleyball for girls and boys at the local, regional and national levels.
- Full and partial scholarship opportunities to boys and girls who otherwise would not be able to participate in club volleyball. Scholarships are awarded based solely on financial need determined by application, and budget availability (typically $25,000) per year. The club sets aside a budget each year based on the previous years income. The larger CJVA grew, the more people requested assistance, so 2 years ago the club developed a formal financial aid program to be sure families that were truly in need of assistance were being helped. It is based on the income guidelines established by the USDA for free or reduced lunch programs (BMA-013A). This year CJVA has been able to extend scholarship to 8 players between girls and boys teams. The athletes serve as volunteer coaches in the development program when they can.
- A multi-level youth development program including VolleyKidz, JumpStart and Spikers to expose the sport of volleyball to boys and girls age 5-14.
The Youth Development program has been co-ed since it began. It was tough attracting boys because so many of them would see all the girls playing and not come back. "As much as we wanted to attract boys, we couldn't pull enough to run a separate program for them" shares Kym. When CJVA started the boys teams about 6 years ago, they ran a Boys only youth development program at the same time as the boys teams practiced. The program started out with only 6 or 7 boys, but as the word got out, the club was able to attract more and more boys.
The boys development program has 2 sessions: Fall (Sept-Nov) and Winter (Dec-Feb). The boys school season starts in March, so the club is introducing a boys middle school league this year for any boys who don't have volleyball in their elementary or middle schools to try to keep them playing. Otherwise, they are merged into the Co-ed program with the girls until the following September. CJVA runs a development series (4 JVA tournaments) for 10-13 year olds that includes boys and girls.
- Partnership with Parisi Speed School to offer Volleyball Strength and Conditioning programs to teams.
- Two College Recruiting Coordinators to help guide players on 15-18u teams through the process.
- Summer camps and clinic in 2 locations.
- Fall and Summer leagues for both boys and girls.
- A Master Coaching System to help ensure cohesive, quality training across teams every level. The master coaching systems helps with coach training and development as well as players.
- A CIT program that trains student players interested in volunteering with a school or a club team. Players can earn service hours for scouts, church, etc.
- When possible, CJVA offers its coaches additional trainings such as CAP certification, Gold Medal Squared clinics, ACVA Convention... recently registered 12 coaches for AOC clinic in Baltimore.
- Beach volleyball training in three outdoor locations.
CJVA has has been running beach clinics for the past 5 years in partnership with East Coast Beach Volleyball and Princeton Volleyball Club. Beach Clinics are offered to over 300 athletes (100-125 per year register through CJVA). The club rents courts 3 nights a week in 3 locations for boys and girls ages 13 to 18. Boys are run on their own night. The athletes participate in a minimum of 2 GAV (Great American Volleyball) Junior Events on the Jersey Shore. Many of the athletes play every weekend over the summer. This year ECVBA is retiring, and CJVA is partnering directly with GAV.
- Host several adult leagues and tournaments for all ages and levels of play.
"CJVA has been a proud member of the JVA for over 10 years now, and we look forward to their continued support and huge compilation of resources to help our directors, staff, coaches, parents and players!"
Central Jersey Volleyball Academy is a member of the Junior Volleyball Association, an organization committed to enhancing the junior volleyball experience for club directors, coaches, players, and fans.