The new team plans to continue recruiting for next year.
Something special is happening at the Howe Sound Secondary gymnasium.
For the past year, it has hosted Squamish’s first women’s volleyball club, made up of three teams of determined young athletes. Many of them had been introduced to the sport before the club was founded, usually at school, but this extra-curricular opportunity gave them the chance to take their skills to the next level. And after an impressive performance at the provincial championships, it looks like they’re just getting started.
For 18U Head Coach Veronika Voracek, it’s been an emotional journey.
“I’m so proud. We’re a brand new club and we’ve organized ourselves to be in all these events and competitions, playing against the best of the best. The fact that we’re even here gives us so much pride to bring back to Squamish I told the girls, “No one can take it away from you that you were the very first volleyball team in Squamish to compete at this level,” she told the Squamish Chief.
At the Abbotsford and Richmond Provincials, the 14U Girls finished sixth in Division Four, the 16U Girls finished ninth in Division Four, and the 18U Girls finished 8th in Division Three. It was already an impressive feat, but Voracek thinks it bodes even better for the future. According to her, the skills of girls are progressing exponentially.
“A lot of these girls had experience on school teams, but in the Sea to Sky area it’s quite limited because there’s a no-cut policy, which means they don’t have a lot of touches on the ball or playing time. So just being able to give them time to practice, touch the ball, move around and play with other teams has been huge,” a- she declared.
“They all already knew what was going on and they had great coaches in high school, but we can give them more. We have four coaches per practice, and we refine what they already know and help them do it better.
And beyond the competitive element, Voracek believes the new club has been hugely beneficial to the well-being and mental health of its participants.
“If you look at the statistics on girls and mental health, the school dropout rate is two or three times that of boys. We are already lost, so having a support group they can be in and come to every week really helps with their mental and physical health. It’s a place where they can come and let it all out, like a stress release,” she said.
The club is currently looking for a new director, as well as coaches.
They are grateful to their local sponsors. Without them, there would have been no freshman year, she said.
Registration will begin in September and fall clinics will follow closely.