RDC awarded 2019 Men's Volleyball Nationals
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) officially announced Red Deer College as the host of the 2019 Men’s Volleyball National Championship, March 6 – 9, 2019.
“This men’s national championship is a tremendous opportunity for our College and our communities to come together to celebrate and support elite CCAA volleyball,” said Joel Ward, Red Deer College President & CEO. “With the strong and rich history of the RDC Kings, we are honoured to host the Men’s Volleyball Championship in our first year in the brand new, state-of-the-art facility.”
The new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre/Centre des Jeux du Canada Gary W. Harris, which was a key component to the CCAA bid, will be open for classes starting in September 2018. The facility will house modern teaching and learning spaces, along with athletic training and competition areas – including a performance gymnasium that has a 1,200 seat capacity. The two-time defending CCAA gold medalists, the RDC Kings Volleyball team, will join other student-athletes from RDC Athletics when they begin training and competing in the new Centre in fall 2018.
The Kings have an impressive tradition with 13 CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championships, but they have been unable to host the national tournament since 1987 because the facilities didn’t meet the criteria.
With the new Centre, RDC Kings Volleyball Head Coach Aaron Schulha is looking forward to hosting the championship, which will feature some of the most talented volleyball players in Canada.
“It means a great deal to our program to be able to host the national championship next season,” said Schulha, the 2014 CCAA Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year. “Our crowds have always been fantastic, especially during the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championships, and I expect them to be louder with the significantly increased seating capacity of the new competition gym, along with the excitement of being able to watch some of the best young volleyball players in the country. It is truly a tremendous opportunity, and one that we are very much looking forward to.”
Central Albertans are strong supporters of RDC Volleyball, as they have demonstrated for many years, including during the 2016 – 17 ACAC Men’s Volleyball Championship. With the increased seating capacity of the new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, fans and supporters will have even more opportunities to enjoy regular season and championship games.
Ben Holmes, a 2016 – 17 CCAA Men’s Volleyball National gold medal winner from Red Deer, is very excited to play in front of family and friends next season as the Kings drive for a national title on their home court. “As a member of Kings Volleyball, I’m filled with pride for our city, our College, and our program to have the opportunity to host a national championship here in our hometown,” said Holmes, a second-year Bachelor of Arts Psychology student. “Being able to share this event with our family, friends, and program alumni means the world to us and will make the experience all the more meaningful and rewarding.”
Eight teams from five Canadian conferences, the PACWEST (Pacific Western Athletic Association), Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC), OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association), RSEQ (Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec), and ACAA (Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association/Association Athlantique du Sport Collegial) will compete for CCAA gold in Red Deer in 2019.
“With the recent and continuing growth and evolution of Red Deer College, we’re ideally positioned to be featured on the national stage and to host teams and athletes from across Canada,” said Ward. “When we look at our role in the upcoming 2019 Canada Winter Games, and as we prepare to host the CCAA Men’s Volleyball Championship, it’s clear we’ll be able to connect with our learners, our communities and all of Canada in exciting new ways.”
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