“We had an incredible time on this trip,” said teacher/coach Lilace McIntryre who took her Seaway District High School senior girls volleyball team on the journey of a life time when they flew to Hawaii during March Break, 2012, to take part in the Sun and Surf Tournament run by Encore Sports.
“In spite of rumours that Air Canada might strike, we had no problems at all,” McIntrye said. “The Hawaiian teams and their coaches who were our hosts at the tournament were very friendly and hospitable. And the students from Seaway did their school and community proud as ambassadors to the tournament.”
The students, 10 of them members of the Senior Girls Volleyball team, accompanied by four score keepers, had been planning for the trip to the United States competition for over a year. They held a number of fund-raising events to help off-set costs while they were actually in Hawaii. With chaperones and some family friends, 25 South Dundas travellers flew to the islands.
“We took part in one tournament, and played a number of exhibition matches,” McIntyre said. “Encore Sports, which operates the Sun and Surf Tournament, brings in schools of all sizes from across Canada and the U.S. The level of competition is very good. This was a chance for our Seaway girls to meet new competitors and to improve on our skills by playing outside our league.” Many of the Hawaiian teams were club teams, so the level of play was high.
When they weren’t on the court, the Seaway students took in some of the famous sights in Hawaii. They visited Pearl Harbour, climbed up to Diamond Head and enjoyed a traditional luau. A high point of the holiday was a trip to the North Shore with its sandy beaches and big waves. “The girls learned just how powerful those big swell can be. We had to link arms to keep from being knocked down.” Despite a busy games schedule and special tours, the students still managed to find time to shop.
“We are planning a similar trip in about three years or so,” Lilace McIntryre explained. “It’s something the next group of Seaway players can look forward to.”