A parent in Chestermere is hoping to establish the lakeside city's first volleyball club, as a way to provide local families in the community another sport offering.
Richard Grier has lived in Chestermere since 2005, and believes it's time for the city of more than 20,000 residents to have its own volleyball club. He said he used to play the sport when he was younger, and has a daughter who plays competitive volleyball for Calgary-based ACE Volleyball Club.
Currently, Grier said Chestermere youth who want to play volleyball are limited to playing for their school teams, unless they're willing and able to make the trek into Calgary for club games and practices.
“There’s an over-abundance of kids from the city and a lot of young kids are overlooked in these smaller communities, who don’t always have the chance to play volleyball,” he said. “I’m just trying to make a difference.”
Earlier this month, Grier started posting to various community Facebook pages in the east Rocky View County region, to gauge the demand for a volleyball club. He said feedback from those posts, spanning from people in Langdon, to Irricana, to Strathmore, and everywhere in between, has been overwhelmingly in favour of establishing a local volleyball club.
“It’s [seen as] a positive thing here in the community,” he said. “With the responses I’ve received to the notices I’ve put out, it’s been really good.”
To date, Grier has reached out to ACE Volleyball Club to inquire about the possibility of expanding east of Calgary, and said they have been cooperative thus far.
While details still need to be hammered out – where the club would practice out of, how much it would cost to join, who would coach, what age groups would be available, etc. – Grier said he's confident Chestermere and its surrounding rural communities have a large enough population to sustain such a club.
Having grown up in a small town himself, Grier said he knows the disadvantages youth in such communities have when it comes to sporting opportunities, and hopes to bridge that gap.
“It gives parents another option for getting their kids out and doing things,” he said. “Nowadays, kids are stuck on their cell phones, tablets, and everything else. By opening up another door or a different avenue, it lets kids try something different and gives parents a different option.”
Grier said anyone in east Rocky View County who is interested in the possibility of playing club volleyball in Chestermere in the future is encouraged to let ACE Volleyball Club know by emailing [email protected] and putting 'Chestermere Surrounding Area' in the subject line.