The recent successes of several Terrace volleyball players has caused a spike in interest in the sport and local volleyball organizers are pushing to recruit part-time coaches to expand their competitive program.
Volleyball is experiencing a renaissance in this hockey and soccer-lovers town, stirring up memories of the early ‘90s when Terrace net hounds ruled the courts and a Terrace team won the AAA Championship.
“That was pretty much unheard of in a small town,” says Kam Siemens, one of the current coaches for the women’s Terrace Volleyball Club.
Olympic volleyball player Jason Haldane, who eventually competed for the UK Olympic team in 2011, grew up in Terrace, another sign that volleyball has found a place here over the years, says Siemens.
She said recent appearances by Terrace women’s players at national and provincial tournaments heralds a return to the championship days of the early ‘90s.
The fact that Carly Davies won gold with Team BC this season and Cassidy Kitchen bronze with the national team has turned some heads.
This summer, Jacey Neid, Macy Hogg, Delaney Kitchen and Marina Bell all qualified for the Baden Cup in the 14U division. Like others before them, they will now be scouted by Team BC.
Volleyball BC is providing money for local efforts and an organization representative is travelling here later this year to offer advice on program management.
During Riverboat Days, joyful diggers dove into a sand court in the parking lot at the small mall containing Mr. Mikes for the annual Mr. Mikes Beach Blast competition.
Even some of these recreational players could make good coaches, according to Siemens.
The hunt for more coaches has begun, she says, in particular those who can teach the sport to male players.
“It’s the boys really that we are lacking. Without a coach you can’t do anything. There is amazing talent. There are kids who want to do it, but we just don’t have the coaches that we need,” said Siemens.
Aside from the high school teams, currently boys who wish to play competitively travel to Prince George to play for the club teams there.
“I’ve been asking people if they can spare just a couple of hours a week,” said Siemens.
“I’ve been told there is a stigma that volleyball is a girl’s sport,” she continued. “And I go wow, I would really love to see them down at the summer games watching these high calibre guys swing. You need a lot of strength to do what these guys are doing.
“We are trying to change the mind set. It is a real aggressive sport but people don’t think that.”
Being a coach is also part of an active lifestyle for Siemens.
“If I am asking my athletes to do it, I better be doing it too,” she said.
Potential coaches or others interested in the game can learn more at the Clubs Day at the Sportsplex Thursday, Aug. 28.