Having started his volleyball career in Terrace and spiking with the pros in Europe for 20 years, Jason Haldane has bumped into coaching and recently seized a chance to coach for Team Canada.
Early this month, April 5, Haldane took on the role as assistant coach for the men’s B volleyball team in Team Canada.
“It’s a huge opportunity for me, for my future, just to be able to get that experience with some of the top Canadian coaches,” said Haldane.
He has already been coaching professional volleyball in Turkey for the last two years, but he says it’s great to return to Canada and give back to the program that has given him so much.
“I was able to play 12 years [with Team Canada], I received a lot of benefits from it, I learned how to play, so it gives me a chance to give back to the program,” he said.
Enjoying the Canadian culture and English-speaking will be another perk, he added, noting that the culture in Turkey is completely different.
The Canadian men’s B season jumps into action with tryouts in May and climaxes July 23 to 31 with the 2017 Pan American Cup in Gatineau, Quebec.
Haldane grew up in Kitwanga and started his volleyball career in Terrace 1988-89, playing at Caledonia Secondary School in his Grade 11/12 years.
He played volleyball with Langara Community College and Grand Prairie Regional College for several years and then tried out for the Canadian junior national team.
He played on Team Canada 1992-2004 which propelled him into the professional leagues in Europe.
He spiked in the European pros for 20 years in Belgium, France, Italy, Greece, and more, and two years ago, at age 44, he transitioned into professional coaching in Turkey.
He’s been living in Istanbul, Turkey, since then, coaching the second division professional team with Bal Sport, where he will return after the summer of coaching for Team Canada.
He says his aim is to secure a 2-3 year pro coaching position in the future, engaging him with a chance to really invest and develop a team from the ground up.
He loves coaching, he said, adding that it’s nice to stay involved in the sport he loves.
“It’s something that I have a lot of passion for. Volleyball has given me a great life, it’s still giving me a great life, and I love being part of it,” he said.
Coaching “is a good fit for me,” he said.