Organizer Andy Lee says he is very happy with the response he has had to the Spikes Volleyball program he runs in the Seaway District High School gymnasium on Thursday nights, and he is even happier with the results he is seeing in the participants.
Twenty-two local girls, from grades 8 to 12, signed up for the eight week Spikes program which started in early November.
Developed by the Ontario Volleyball Association, the Spikes Volleyball program is meant to interest and develop players in the game. Drills and games are designed so that everyone has fun while learning volleyball skills.
Although Lee says he capped the number at 32, he wasn’t sure just how much interest there would be.
“It started fairly slow, but we had more girls join along the way, so that is great. It has been good and the kids are really enjoying it.”
Enjoying and improving so much so that Lee says he is considering extending it into February.
“We have a good mix of girls, in age, experience and skills. They all help each other, so it has worked out really well.”
Also working out well, is his volunteer crew of coaches which include his wife Nancy Jordan, former Seaway District High School volleyball player Ryan Douma, current Seaway senior volleyball player Sarah Dickey (who trained in the Ottawa Mavericks program) and longtime player Jamie Thompson who is a co-organizer of an adult league that plays weekly at Seaway.
Lee says the Spikes program is not a strict regiment, and he and Nancy work out their own practise plans. “Through the Spikes program, we have insurance and we received a three hour coaching clinic. In addition, we received some balls and registration T-shirts.”
“The Spikes people are very accommodating and the program is popping up everywhere. It’s a very active program. I’ve learned a lot and am still learning things.”
“Between the school volleyball program at Seaway and our Spikes program, I am seeing improvement in the girls. We want to take it further, and that is why I am thinking of extending it.”
On Thursday night, December 13, the local program benefitted from a clinic hosted by Patrick Corriveau who is a coach in the Maverick’s Volleyball Club out of Ottawa.
Lee says the clinic was well received. “The Mavericks have some highly skilled coaches in their program, some of whom have been to Seaway in the past. It was good Thursday night and Patrick said he is willing to come again. The next time he said it would be more involved as he now knows his audience.”
“It’s gone really well. I think the girls are having fun with it. Seaway has been very cooperative and the staff at night is great.”
After this week’s session, the Spikes program will break for the holidays and return to the Seaway courts on January 20.
“The plan right now is to extend it into February,” says Lee. “Perhaps we will get more girls involved so that we can expand it.”