Volleyball Canada, Brock University and Niagara College have teamed up to launch a Volleyball Canada Centre of Excellence (VCCE) this fall in Niagara.
The VCCE program is designed to nurture high performance athletes who serious about the sport and want to pursue a career in volleyball. The centre focuses on individual athlete skill development, complementing the high school and club system.
Dale Melnick, Brock women’s volleyball coach, and Joey Martins and Nathan Groenveld from Niagara College will serve as the centre’s lead coaches.
“This is a great partnership that will help to build the sport of volleyball in Niagara and give more opportunities for elite athletes to excel at both the provincial and national level,” Melnick said.
The centre, with its low coach-to-athlete ratio, will focus on individual skill development for players in grades 8 through 12 and club athletes who are on the Team Canada/provincial team pathway.
Athletes will be given on-court, strength and conditioning, nutrition and sport psychology resources to help bring them to the level of international athletes in their age group.
“I am excited to be a part of the centre,” said Groenveld, who coaches Niagara College’s men’s team. “It’s a great opportunity for young volleyball athletes in Niagara to learn from some of the top coaches in the country. I am very excited to partner with Brock University and work closely with the Niagara Rapids volleyball club to grow the game of volleyball and to help develop more international players from this region. It’s a hotbed for great athletes and the centre will help those great athletes develop world-class volleyball skills.”
VCCE Niagara Region, which opens in September, will host an open house and athlete identification session on Sunday, Aug. 11 at the Niagara College Welland Campus Athletic Centre for athletes in grades 8 through 12.