• FTC female athletes in the community

    Nov 13, 2012

    FTC female athletes in the community

    During the month of October, FTC athletes participated in two activites in order to promote the National Volleyball Month.
    On October 24th, one of the FTC athletes - Kaiva Mateus, and one of the B team athletes from the summer - Kristi Hunter, helped out at a grade 9 girls practice for Centre Scolaire Léo Rémillard school.  The coach had the following to say after the practice:

    « Kristi and Kaiva, I wanted to send you a note to say, again, how very thankful I am that you came out to our practice yesterday.  We have a great group of girls, but many of them tend to be a bit shy.  To see the smiles on their faces and sparkle in their eyes when you were helping them through drills or playing alongside them in 4 on 4 was terrific.  They really didn't want the practice to end - which is rare for 14 year-old girls who don't have school today and would otherwise have been out at the movies!!  I gave Erica (possibly the smallest 14 year-old player in our league!) a ride back home and she couldn't stop telling me how much fun she had! ».

    Here are Kaiva’s comments after her experience with the kids. “Helping out at the CSLR volleyball clinic was a fun experience for me. After introductions, we helped out with several practice drills covering different basic techniques in volleyball, from bumping to blocking. At the end, we played some short games with the girls. All the girls on the volleyball team there seemed to already be very passionate about volleyball. Whenever I gave them feedback on their technique they were eager to listen and to learn from it. It was great to see them enjoy the game so much, since this is the level of volleyball that everyone starts at. It felt good to leave a positive impression for all the girls. I hope that I have left them with the idea that if they persevere, they can go far with the sport they love as well".


    On October 29th, I had the pleasure to revisit my former school, Ecole Charleswood Junior High, as a representative from Team Canada Volleyball, at CJH's "Think Pink" breast cancer awareness event with the grade 7 and 8 girls' volleyball team. Not only did the team set up a donation area with pink ribbons and temporary tattoos, they ran a bake sale and sold bright pink hats with all proceeds supporting their cause.

    At the end of their match, I had a chance to meet the girls, their families and answered questions about my road to becoming an athlete along with experiences as a student, a player on club volleyball and provincial teams, and included insight into the dedication and hard work it takes to not only be a university athlete, but also to perform well academically. The girls were interested in my goals and aspirations and my current experiences training with Team Canada. My favourite question was to offer one piece of advice to girls who wished to pursue sports at a higher level. Realizing it would be hard to pick just one piece of advice, I replied: "never give up".  I confessed to the group that at their age I didn't make some teams, including the grade 7 team at CJH, but I didn't give up- I just kept working hard and kept looking for someone to believe in me.

    Overall, it was a great night to watch the developing athletes and reminisce over the many positive experiences I had at CJH.  I was able to reconnect with CJH Celtics coach Mr. Hunter, who taught me and my sister, who coincidentally is currently also a university volleyball athlete in her third year in Ontario.  Most importantly, the highlight of my evening was meeting all of the young girls and being a part of their enthusiastic endeavour by helping them raise money for cancer awareness and research.

    Amanda Bakker


    To learn more about the FTC athletes, click here.