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Canadian Sport Institute Ontario – TORONTO (July 27, 2016) – Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) would like to congratulate the 8 beach volleyball athletes nominated to the Canadian Olympic Team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Five of the 8 athletes nominated to the team are from Ontario:

  • Heather Bansley, Waterdown, ON
  • Sarah Pavan, Kitchener, ON
  • Kristina Valjas, Toronto, ON
  • Josh Binstock, Richmond Hill, ON
  • Sam Schachter, Richmond Hill, ON

The athletes named above, along with the other three athletes named to the team – Jamie Broder, Victoria, BC; Chaim Schalk, Red Deer, AB; and Ben Saxton, Calgary, AB; all train out of Volleyball Canada’s Full-Time Beach Training Centre at Downsview Park in Toronto. Part of this daily training environment includes working closely with CSIO staff who are a vital part of the athletes’ integrated support team (IST), providing sport science and sport medicine services to the National Team program. The athletes and their coaches have access to CSIO expert practitioners including Ryan MacDonald (Strength and Conditioning), Nicole Springle (Sport Nutrition), and Melissa Kazan (Sport Nutrition). Ryan MacDonald and Nicole Springle will be supporting the Beach Volleyball Team in Rio. The beach volleyball athletes can often be seen training in CSIO’s main strength and conditioning centre when they are not hitting the sand at Downsview or travelling for competition.

National Team Head Coach Steve Anderson and National Team Assistant Coach Adriana Bento have received support from CSIO through coaching and technical leadership programs and professional development opportunities.

CSIO through its Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative, or OHPSI (NEXTGEN Ontario) program has also provided many of the Rio-bound athletes with support during various stages of their career development pathway.

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OHPSI (NEXTGEN Ontario) is a program designed by CSIO and funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS), to provide sport science and sport medicine services to athletes who are best capable of achieving future international success on senior national teams in targeted winter and summer sports. The OHPSI (NEXTGEN Ontario) investment also contributes to funding athlete participation in training camps, international events, coach and technical leadership support and enhancing sports’ daily training environments.

Through the OHPSI (NEXTGEN Ontario) program, CSIO has provided ongoing assistance to Ontario Volleyball Association through coaching and technical leadership support for Senior Beach Development Coach Angie Shen and Beach Development Coach Eddie Coleman, while Volleyball Canada has received support for Assistant National Team Beach Coach Adriana Bento. Angie and Eddie have both been engaged in the Advanced Coaching Diploma (ACD) program delivered by CSIO, with Angie a program graduate and Eddie currently completing his second year. The ACD program is a two-year course focused on Coaching Leadership, Coaching Effectiveness, Performance Planning, and Training/Competition Readiness. Beach Volleyball has also received enhanced sport science and sport medicine services for targeted athletes through the OHPSI (NEXTGEN Ontario) program including Strength and Conditioning and Sport Nutrition.


“The Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) has been an essential partner for Volleyball Canada’s Beach High Performance Program by providing funding and Integrated Support Team expertise for the past seven years through the Ontario High Performance Sport Initiative (OHPSI) program. In fact, six of the eight Canadian beach volleyball athletes competing in Rio came through the OHPSI program and two CSIO staff are part of the Integrated Support Team down in Rio. CSIO has played a significant role in helping Volleyball Canada create a world class athlete support system.”

Ed Drakich

Director, High Performance (Beach), Volleyball Canada

“The Ontario Volleyball Association (OVA) thanks CSIO and the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport for their ongoing support of our athletes and coaches. Due to this successful partnership, Ontario athletes have earned multiple international medals at the senior and youth levels and the OVA has developed an extremely strong and dedicated beach coaching staff. Congratulations to all the Olympic beach athletes – the volleyball community is excited to cheer you on in Rio!”

Jo-Anne Ljubicic

Executive Director, Ontario Volleyball Association

“It is a massive achievement for Beach Volleyball to have qualified two teams of each gender for the Rio Games.  These teams are poised to have a podium breakthrough and have competed at an elite level for much of the quadrennial. CSIO is very proud of the partnership we have with the Volleyball Canada and the Ontario Volleyball Association. This extremely collaborative partnership has evolved over the years, yet originated with the vision of winning Olympic medals. It is exciting to see how well prepared the athletes are and we look forward to a successful Games for the athletes and coaches. All the best in Rio!”

Tommy Wharton

Director, High Performance Sport, CSIO

“CSIO wishes to congratulate all of the beach volleyball athletes named to Team Canada for the Olympic Games. We are very proud of our partnership with Volleyball Canada; Ontario Volleyball Association; the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport; Sport Canada; and Own the Podium, and the successes we have had and continue to have in the sand. The beach volleyball programs, both provincially and nationally, have made tremendous strides over the past decade and we are honoured to be a part of it. We look forward to cheering on the athletes at the Games!”

Debbie Low

Chief Executive Officer, CSIO 

About Canadian Sport Institute Ontario

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario (CSIO) is a non-profit organization committed to the pursuit of excellence by providing world-class programs, services, and leadership to high performance athletes and coaches to enhance their ability to achieve international podium performances. CSIO offers athletes a range of sport science and sport medicine services including nutrition, physiology, biomechanics, strength & conditioning, mental performance, sport therapy and life services. CSIO also delivers programming and services to National and Provincial Sport Organizations and coaches to work towards building a stronger sport system in Ontario and Canada.

CSIO services approximately 700 high performance athletes and 250 coaches, at its main facility at the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre, its satellite location at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre in Milton, and in daily training environments across Ontario. CSIO is part of a larger network of 4 institutes and 3 multi-sport centres across the country known as the Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Sport Institute Network, working in partnership with the Canadian Olympic Committee and Canadian Paralympic Committee. CSIO is further supported by the Ministry of

Tourism, Culture and Sport, Sport Canada, Own the Podium, and the Coaching Association of Canada, along with the National and Provincial Sport Organizations within the sector.


Media Contact:

Laura Albright, Senior Communications Coordinator

Canadian Sport Institute Ontario
Tel: 416.596.1240 Ext. 238