Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Volleyball stars setting sights on helping kids

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THEY have both have set volleyballs for Canada and other countries around the world and now Scott Koskie and Mike Munday have brought it all home to help young players achieve their volleyball dreams.

Koskie, 38, and Munday, 29, both had long careers as starting setters for Canada's national men's volleyball team and as professional players in international leagues. Both having recently retired from professional play, the two have developed a program to teach volleyball skills and leadership to local players.

Koskie and Munday will launch their Success For Volleyball development program on Sunday with an open house from 1:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at St. James Collegiate. Interested players are encouraged to drop in.

The program, the first of its kind in Manitoba, is open to players age 11-16 and will run for 10 weeks, with 75-minute sessions every Sunday. It is sanctioned by Volleyball Canada and the Manitoba Volleyball Association. Each session will be split between skills instruction and game play in a four-on-four format. Participants will receive a uniform, a set of knee pads, post-practice snacks and a leadership book.

"We were looking for a way to give back to the volleyball community and we think if we give players more opportunities to develop, it can benefit everybody," said Koskie, who played 10 professional seasons for teams in Spain, Austria, France and Qatar.

"We hope this program will serve kids who are just starting out in the grade six-to-nine age group who don't have too many opportunities to play during the school season and are not all that confident yet in what they can do. It can also help older kids, in grades 10-11."

Munday said he hopes the program can assist players who haven't been able to earn a spot on a club team roster. Retiring just seven months ago and having made his home in Winnipeg, Munday said the club volleyball system in Manitoba has become very high-level since he was in it a decade ago.

"The athletes are phenomenal but it's so competitive, it's getting to be expensive, a lot of clubs are recruiting kids," said Munday, who played five pro seasons in France and Dubai.

"It's just a chance for kids to come out, learn and have fun and hopefully go further in their volleyball careers after. If a kid gets cut from a team this year, maybe he or she comes out, plays with us, has some fun, learns a bit and next year has the confidence to go back out and try again rather than being done with volleyball."

For more information, please go to www.successforvolleyball.com.

 

ashley.prest@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 6, 2010 C4

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