CORNER BROOK Nathan Wareham believes elite volleyball players from this neck of the woods have an opportunity to create magic on the national scene with a facility to call their own.
The Titans Volleyball Club, under the watchful eye of club director and coach Wareham, will begin training at the multi-purpose facility at the Pepsi Centre in 2013.
Wareham, who has guided Titans VC teams to success on the provincial and national stage over the past five years, believes the new facility is excellent news for those interested in playing the sport at an elite level.
Wareham has had to deal with the consistent challenge of finding adequate gym time for his teams over the years having to compete for floor space with other school teams like the Titans basketball team.
Having the club operate out of its own facility all the time makes Wareham optimistic because he feels it will give the players a sense of home. He believes the players will have a better environment in which to learn so he believes the potential for success should be even greater.
“It’s our home,” Wareham said emphatically. “We’re not calling around asking people for favours for gym time and whatnot, and if we can associate the facility, even though it’s a recreational facility, there is going to be an aspect of it that will cater to athletes who want to push themselves to the next level and that’s huge.”
The Titans Volleyball Club has produced a number of provincial champions over the years with the highlight of the club’s existence coming earlier this year when the Titans shocked the country by claiming a silver medal at the 18U nationals. The championship teams from the past, although blessed with a strong work ethic and boasting star players, had as much trouble trying to secure enough gym time as they did scoring points against some of Canada’s finest volleyball players.
“We’ve been able to produce nationally-competitive teams with one practice per week,” Wareham said. “Having this facility now allows us to get more access to gym team. We won a silver last year at nationals and with the ability to train more during the week who knows what we can do?”
Wareham plans on grooming three female teams under the club banner in the new year with an open tryout slated for Jan. 5 at Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland gymnasium. His plan is to have three all-star squads — 18U, 17U and 16U — hit the hardwood at its new training venue.
He is hoping a structured program with a home to call their own will attract the quality players he knows are available for the three respective teams.
“I think there is a demand for elite volleyball training here on the west coast,” he said. “The beauty about this club is that we’re not just confined to Corner Brook or the high school we’re actually opening up to the entire western region. Anybody in the western region can come in and try out for the team, and we’ll even reach outside the region.”
While he will spend a lot of his time working with those with a thirst for elite volleyball, Wareham is putting out the welcome mat for players of all skill levels who are only interested in getting the health benefits or just want to play an activity for fun.
He is also gearing the program toward female high-performance athletes, but is open to adding a men’s program if the numbers warrant.
“Our goal is to produce high-performance athletes who want to go on and either play at a university or at the Canada Games level and represent Newfoundland,” he said.
Anybody interested in any aspect of the Titans Volleyball Club can email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact coach Wareham at 632-7895.