Winter volleyball league gives islanders chance to play again

By Ben Macintosh

Jan. 12, 2017

Tristan Atkins played the last game of his high school volleyball career in November. Soon after he started looking for another place to play.

His spring volleyball coach told him of a league that had started in September.

Atkins joined Volleyball P.E.I’s fall senior men’s league Dec. 4. He got to play three times before the league ended Dec. 18.

“It was really nice, everyone knows one another so there’s always friendly competition no matter what we’re doing.”

Atkins started playing in Grade 7, since then he has played spring volleyball, Canada Games volleyball and high school volleyball.

Thanks to the interest shown, Volleyball P.E.I. has decided to hold a winter session of its league.

Atkins was thrilled.

“When I got the email saying there was enough interest I was really happy. Our first game got cancelled because of the storms on Jan. 8, but we’re starting on Jan. 15.”

The league features 18 players, some still in high school and others middle aged.

Originally the league needed 24 people for play to start.

But with the commitment of those registered, and the promise there are a few others who want to play, but haven’t registered yet, the league went ahead.

Isaac Kirkland is a UPEI business student. He graduated from high school in 2016. He started playing volleyball in Grade 7. He has played in the Volleyball P.E.I. league for two years now.

“My favourite thing about this league is that I get to play volleyball again. It doesn’t have the same competitiveness as in high school, and you’re not practicing every day, but it sure beats not playing.”

Now the winter league gives him a chance to play almost all year long, said Kirkland.

“If you’re only playing for a couple months of the year, the other months you get rusty and your skills get worse. This new league gives me a chance to stay fresh and improve.”

Kirkland and Atkins played together in high school. Once the league was announced, Atkins contacted Kirkland and other former teammates.

Atkins said, “Well since we had already played together it was only natural we’d make a team. The chemistry gives us the best chance to win.”

The winter league takes place Sunday nights from 7:30-9:30. There is still room for more people to join. All skill and fitness levels are welcome. Anyone interested should contact cgcrozier@sportpei.pe.ca for more information.

Often volleyball is viewed as a female game and that deters men from playing, Kirkland said.

“Volleyball is not just a girl’s game. This is a good outlet for men to show their volleyball potential.”

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