The annual summer Volleyball Camp took place at Routhier School and Ecole Heritage in Falher, running from Monday August 21 to Friday August 24.
Four members of the Rustlers Volleyball Team affiliated with Lakeland College in Lloydminster ran the 5-day camp: Austin Dyer, Lakeland College women’s volleyball coach, Ryan Laing, assistant coach and players Laura Popplestone and Ahnika Kuse.
“We come here to run this camp for local kids interested in volleyball. Grades 6 to 8 are here in Routhier and the Grades 9 to 12 are coached by
Austin and Ryan at Ecole Heritage,” says Laura Popplestone who along with Ahnika Kuse coaches the younger kids.
Twenty-one Grade 6 to 8 and thirty-eight Grade 9 to 12 registered for the camp.
“There are kids who come from Peace River and all over the region,” says Popplestone. “They do two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon and the older group has an open gym session on Tuesday and Wednesday night where they come and play.”
Laura Popplestone has played for five years with the Lakeland College women’s program with Austin Dyer as head coach and says that now she is helping with camps to give back what she can, considering everything Dyer has taught her.
Along with being head coach for the older kids, Austin Dyer is also responsible for the overall camp.
“This is my seventh year coming here,” says Dyer. “The biggest thing is how well the camp is doing in the area. I think it is great for volleyball here in the north that we have this many kids attending. The gym is full of kids and that is what we find most exciting. That’s what we want to do, we want kids to love playing volleyball.”
The four coaches who live in Lloydminster stay with David and Michele Morin while they are in Falher.
“The Morins let us stay with them, which is awesome,” says Popplestone.
The coaches are in Falher from Monday to Thursday but the kids come to the gym on Friday for game day, to play six on six, to have a fun day trying out the skills they have learned during the week.
“We come here to let the kids have fun while learning the game of volleyball because the more people playing volleyball the better,” says Popplestone.
“We teach the younger kids the basic skills: passing, setting, serving, blocking and hitting, so when they get going into high school they have an understanding of the game.
“And the older kids, the camp gets them ready for their high school volleyball season.”