National Volleyball Month puts Canada’s Full Time National Training Centre in spotlight

GATINEAU, Que – The men’s volleyball Full Time National Training Centre Team continues its series of clinics today and Friday in the Ottawa-Gatineau area as it promotes the sport during National Volleyball Month.

This afternoon (Thursday November 24) from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the squad will hold a volleyball clinic at Jeanne-Sauvé elementary school in Ottawa. On Friday, the team will host the 15 and 16 year-old Ottawa Maverick Boys team at its national training centre base at the Centre Sportif in Gatineau.

The two events conclude a busy month of clinics, training and matches for the team designed to help national level players, not currently under contract overseas, sharpen their skills for the upcoming season.

The objectives of National Volleyball Month are to inspire young people to play the game, teach elementary school teachers and kids fun ways to learn the sport, help the development program within schools, increase exposure of college and university programs, and create a stream of players into high school and club systems.

‘’We’ve received a great reception at all our events,’’ said FTC head coach Vincent Pichette. ‘’For the players it’s been a great experience. They all went through the high school system and many learned to play volleyball at that level so this is a great way for them to give back.’’

The FTC squad has already visited this month École secondaire Franco-Cité (the Mavericks home base), where it held a demonstration match in front of 250 student on the sports-study program as well as more students from nearby elementary schools.

A few days later it hosted both a players and coaches clinic at the centre. A total of 28 coaches were at the clinic where Canada’s Pichette provided tips on planning and training principles.

The Canadian team then hit the road last weekend for a match against Canadian university powerhouse Université Laval in Quebec City. Team Canada took the match 25-19, 25-19, 26-28, 26-28, 15-8 before more than a 1,000 spectators.

A day earlier the FTC squad held a training session with the Limoilou College varsity team then attended its match against College St-Jean.

On the way back home, the FTC team stopped in Montreal for an exhibition match against Université de Montréal which it won 25-20, 25-19, 25-19.

‘’Volleyball is a very popular sport at the participation level but we need to promote the fact that you can go further than that and hopefully convince kids that it’s a sport they can pursue at another level,’’ said Pichette.