On Saturday, there's a local volleyball tournament that isn't just any sports showdown, it's a purposeful support group for its team members.

On Saturday, there's a local volleyball tournament that isn't just any sports showdown, it's a purposeful support group for its team members.

Referencing a specific line of thought from Johann Hari's Ted Talk, Everything You Know About Addiction is Wrong, Wellness Director Alicja Carter, with Gateway to Prevention and Recovery, believes there's something to Hari's message that rings true.

Hari's quote was, “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety; the opposite of addiction is connection.”

Carter said people are wired to seek connection and will find it despite the fact that such connections may or may not be healthy.

“However, if presented with adequate support, resources and opportunities to engage in their purpose, individuals can and will turn away from destructive patterns and embrace a more fulfilling and productive way of life,” she said.

There's a local support program actively putting that belief into practice.

One of Gateway’s Wellness Groups, Sober Sports is a league for and led by People in Recovery who get together socially to compete in a safe and healthy environment.

“This is a pretty special group that is connecting people in recovery and the community,” Carter said.

Sober Sports also welcomes family members, friends, volunteers and community members who uphold recovery values.

The group meets in the evening twice per week to play volleyball — Wednesdays at the Salvation Army and at C3 Church on Sundays.

Josh P., a member of the Sober Sports Leadership Team said, Sober Sports offers him a place to meet other people who are going through the same daily struggles that he is.

He said the benefit of the group is not only making connections but also getting to compete and have fun. “The friends that I have made in Sober Sports have helped me through some difficult times,” Josh said. “I’m very thankful for how far we have come from the beginning, and I am looking forward to the future with everything we have planned.”

As with any general sport season, at the end of lots of practices and/or scrimmages eventually comes a full-out game-day challenge.

Sober Sports is hosting its first Community Volleyball Tournament from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Admission is (a suggested) $1 for adults to help raise funds for the program.

Carter said the Sober Sports group encourages the community to attend the volleyball event, and/or join in its regular practices.

For more information or to get involved, search for the program's page on Facebook, at Sober Sports, call (405) 273 1170 or email Alicja Carter at acarter@gatewaytoprevention.org.