Volleyball Canada extends its gratitude to Steve Brinkman for his significant contributions to the men’s National Team as he announces his official retirement from the program.
Steve Brinkman was a mainstay on the Canadian national senior men’s team for 17 years. Originally from Bowmanville, Ontario, he competed in more than 300 international matches for Canada.
“I feel extremely blessed to have had the chance to wear the Canadian jersey and represent our great country. I can still remember 17 years ago, that first time I stood on the court while they played our national anthem. I felt a wave of emotion – pride, excitement, nervousness, anticipation, and a heavy feeling that the whole nation was counting on me – and this is something that never left me over the years,” Brinkman states.
“I have had the utmost pleasure of working alongside so many great, intelligent, compassionate, and hilarious people, many of whom happen to be incredible volleyball players and/or talented coaches, staff, and physiotherapists. I want to thank each and every one of them.”
Other than the Olympics, Brinkman competed in every major competition men’s volleyball can offer on multiple occasions, and defeated nearly every major team at least once over the years.
“Steve was an essential part of the success of this program.” said Canada’s men’s team head coach, Glenn Hoag. “He played an important role as player representative, and showed great leadership as one of our most experienced players sharing his knowledge with many of our younger athletes.”
Brinkman has not ruled out continuing his lengthy professional volleyball career; he has played in France, Italy, China and Russia – winning both the prestigious World Club Championship and European Cup Championship.
“There are so many moments that I could highlight, such as winning bronze on home soil at the Pan Am games in Winnipeg, cracking the top 10 in world ranking, seventh place at World Cup, 11th at World Championships, or beating world powerhouse Brazil on two occasions (to name a few) – but I really want to highlight the process. After all, it is that daily routine with the ‘fellas’ that I will miss the most – the days of competing, working hard together and pushing each other with no cameras rolling and no people in the stands.”
Volleyball will continue to play a major role in Brinkman’s life, as he relocates to London, Ontario, with his wife, Heather, who is a volleyball coach, and their young children. “I want to thank Volleyball Canada for its support over the years and for giving me the opportunities that few are fortunate enough to have. It is thanks to Volleyball Canada that I met the love of my life and now have two beautiful children. Volleyball Canada will forever be part of my family.”
“As a coach I am so grateful to Steve for being part of our history,” concluded Hoag.
For more on the men’s national volleyball team, please go to www.volleyball.ca
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(photo : Volleyball Canada/FIVB)