The Comox Valley Wave by Strikers U16 boys team is one of three high performance volleyball teams in the club. Photo supplied

The Comox Valley Wave by Strikers U16 boys team is one of three high performance volleyball teams in the club. Photo supplied

Club volleyball regains momentum in Comox Valley, Campbell River

Club volleyball has been re-ignited in the Comox Valley and Campbell River after being sidelined by the COVID pandemic.

Like all high performance sports, the Wave by Strikers Volleyball Club is challenged in terms of population density when it comes to competing with bigger communities.

“I keep pushing, you need like-minded, like-skilled and like-committed athletes, and get them together, but that’s difficult when you’re drawing from a small population,” said Jesse Knight, the club’s technical director who has coached the Canadian team, professional teams in Europe, and at the NCAA level.

Dave Silver of Campbell River and Lee McKillican of the valley had formed the Wave club team in 2017, in an effort to compete with clubs in Victoria and the Lower Mainland.

“What we figured is we need to design conceptually a sports school, similar to what we would see in Europe or in Asia, not only to compete but to service the goals of the high performance athletes,” Knight said. “We did that with tremendous success. We had kids from all over Western Canada move here. We ended up with an 80/90 per cent scholarship rate out of the program. Then COVID came and shut us down because we had no access to gyms.”

The Wave is trying to rekindle what it had started, in tandem with the Strikers volleyball club in terms of skill development and weight training. Coaches and administrators plan to open the program to athletes outside the region.

The Wave by Strikers have Under-16 and U-15 girls teams, and a boys U-16 team.

Boys and girls in Grades 3 to 6 who want to learn volleyball skills in a fun environment are encouraged to sign up for the Smashball program, previously called Junior Strikers, which is run by Julie Young, a former professional player and national team captain. There will be eight sessions, Feb. 24-May 5, Fridays at Lake Trail School, from 6-7:30 p.m.

FMI: email cvvcstrikers@hotmail.ca



reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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