Pavan looks forward to season with Brazilian squadWINNIPEG - (October 22, 2012) – Canadian volleyball star, Sarah Pavan of Kitchener, Ont., is currently in Rio de Janeiro for her fifth season of professional volleyball. This season she will be playing for Unilever Rio de Janeiro Voleil Clube.
The club is a perennial powerhouse in Brazil and is led by the Brazilian men's national team head coach, Bernardinho (Bernardo Rezende). Besides playing for one of the best coaches in the world, a number of Pavan's teammates are huge in the world of volleyball and have multiple Olympic medals under their belts.
They include: Logan Tom (Team USA), Natália Pereira (Team Brazil), Fabi (Fabiana de Oliveira) (Team Brazil), Juicely Silva (Team Brazil) and former Brazilian national team members Fofão (Hélia Rogério de Souza) and Valeska Menezes. Pavan is very excited about this opportunity and has this to say about her upcoming season:
"Unilever probably has the best reputation in Brazilian volleyball,” Pavan said. ‘’They have been a dominant force in the league for many years, so I just hope to help in any way I can to continue the streak of excellence going on here. I am really excited to learn from a coach as respected as Bernardinho, and to play with such world-class athletes everyday. I am looking forward to what this season has in store."
Pavan started her professional career in 2008, playing in Italy until 2010 when she transferred to Korea for the 2010-2011 season. In 2011 she decided to go back to Italy for her fourth season before coming to Brazil for the current season.
She is the first Canadian female to play in this league which is considered to be one of the top leagues in the world. The regular season starts on November 23 and will go until April. 7. In the 2011-2012 season, Unilever lost in the Championship to Sollys Osaco.
Other national team players playing abroad in foreign leagues are as follows:
Nadine Alphonse, Montreal - Sm'Aesch Pfeffingen (Basel, Switzerland)
Marisa Field, Kelowna, B.C. - Istres Ouest Provence (Istres, France)
Janie Guimondm Bécancourt, Que. - Kopenicker Sport Club (Berlin, Germany)
Claire Hanna, Vancouver - Barbar D'X-Elles (Brussels, Belgium)
Tasha Holness, Calgary - Voleil Tomis 2004 Constanta (Constanta, Romania)
Marie-Pier Murray-Methot, Montreal - Montichiari Volley Femminile (Montichiari, Italy)
Brittney Page, Vernon, B.C. - Barbar D'X-Elles (Brussels, Belgium)
Becky Pavan, Kitchener, Ont. - Kopenicker Sport Club (Berlin, Germany)
Jaimie Thibeault, Sylvan Lake, Alta. - E.S. Cannet Rocheville (Cannes, France)
Please click on the following link to see where other Canadian women are playing volleyball around the world: