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September 10, 2021: Volleyball Canada’s National Excellence Program (NEP) for 18 of the top youth female athletes in Canada began on September 8 at the Richmond Olympic Oval in Richmond, BC.

After an extensive athlete identification, including a virtual tryout, the NEP, entering its second year provides a full-time daily training environment to Grade 11 & 12 female athletes through to December 2021. In addition to providing technical and tactical training in line with the Senior Women’s National Team, NEP will also provide competition opportunities with local university and college programs, access to strength and conditioning, nutrition education, mental performance and well-being, as well as ongoing educational support.

“This is such an important program for our Women’s National Team in identifying and developing our top talent in Canada. In the second year of the program, we have been fortunate enough to grow our intake to include more athletes as the talent pool is so strong through the youth and junior ages,” said Women’s Head Coach, Shannon Winzer. 

A roster of 12 athletes will be selected from the NEP athletes to represent Canada at the U18 Girls’ World Championships held in Durango, Mexico, from September 20-29. Roster will be announced prior to the competition.

“The NEP program continues as a partnership with all our provincial volleyball associations that are deeply committed to support the Women’s National team towards Olympic and World Championship podium,” said Athlete and Coach Pathway Director, Dawna Sales. “The ability to create a culture of excellence with our next generation of national team athletes is paramount to continued success on the international stage.”

NEP Roster:
Jessica Andrews, Middle Blocker, Guelph, ON
Maryn Boldon, Outside Hitter, Okotoks, AB
Olivia Boulding, Outside Hitter, Victoria, BC
Taylor de Boer, Outside Hitter, Kelowna, BC
Ava Ebert, Middle/Outside Hitter, London, ON
Tara Garvey, Outside Hitter, Ancaster, ON
Kylee Glanville, Outside Hitter, Okotoks, AB
Jaime Hewlett, Libero, Port Moody, BC
Lauryn Hovey, Opposite Hitter, Waterloo, ON
Lydia Johnson, Opposite Hitter, Edmonton, AB
Payton Lightfoot, Middle Blocker, Hamilton, ON
Sophia Magus, Setter, Saskatoon, SK
Brooke Malek, Libero, Edmonton, AB
Mackenzie Pool, Outside Hitter, Burnaby, BC
Naomie Sinclair, Middle Blocker, Montréal, QC
Isabella Tehrani, Middle Blocker, Hamilton, ON
Kaiya Tyson, Setter, Burlington, ON
Viktoria Wahlgren, Setter, Burlington, ON

Head Coach: Shannon Winzer
Assistant Coach: Carolyn O’Dwyer
Assistant Coach & Strength Coach: Cody Piwowar-Desilets
Assistant Coach: Kelvin Ma
Athletic Therapist: Mischa Partridge
Team Physician: Dr. Sara Forsyth
Mental Performance Coach: Dr. Anne Muscat
Sport Dietitian: Ashlen Leonard
Academic Advisor: Beathen Thomas
Program Coordinator: Matt Doherty
Head Coach: Scott Koskie
Assistant Coach: Carolyn O’Dwyer
Assistant Coach/Data Analysis: Nathan Janzen
Physiotherapist: Alice Podmore
Team Manager: Dawna Sales

Volleyball Canada media contact:
Jackie Skender
Mobile: 613.794.7676

Photo: Chrissy Benz