The WolfPack prowled in Quesnel last week, teaching teamwork and how to forearm pass.
Chad Grimm, an assistant coach with the TRU Men’s volleyball team and erstwhile local, was in town to coach local students and help them grow in the sport they love.
Grimm was happy to be back coaching in Quesnel.
“I always like coming here cause the kids have a really good work ethic,” said Grimm.
This year however, the number of students who came to learn at the volleyball camp was drastically lower than usual, with 18 students, 11 grade nine to twelve students and seven grade five to eight students, coming out to take part.
Most years, Grimm, who has been running the program in Quesnel for nine years, said anywhere from 30 to 40 athletes show up for the popular volleyball school.
This year however, volleyball, like many other school sports, has taken a bit of a hit.
“Part of it is there’s not as many local coaches anymore,” Grimm said.
Coaches who had been working within the school system had moved or stopped coaching, leaving some of the kids without teams he said.
Besides that, the teachers job action may also have affected it, according to Grimm.
“There wasn’t as many teams because teachers weren’t coaching as much,” he said.
Despite the lower numbers, the students who did show up had fun.
Kassidy Flanagan, a student in the early sessions for younger students enjoyed her time at the camp.
“I did it last year and I liked it. I told my friends to come so I had lots of friends to come with,” she said.
The camp focused on refining basic skills like passing and serving, so the athletes would have a firm base to grow their skills on.
Grimm also included more difficult skills like jump serves in the curriculum for both the younger and older students. Though the younger kids were not able to put the jump serve together, Grimm said serving is one of the few volleyball techniques that can be practiced alone and the footwork required for a jump serve builds a foundation for spikes as well.
“I think sometimes we limit kids,” said Grimm.
“If they know what they’re doing they can practice and that will help them a lot.”
With the foundational skills in place, the students are positioned well to continue their training.
After some time here in Quesnel visiting with old friends Grimm will continue on Prince George. The Prince George school, which Grimm says is ‘the big one’ drew 160 students this year. Grimm credits a strong house league with the high numbers.