Feb. 10, 2016 – Volleyball Canada has announced its coaching staff for the Team Canada 2016 Youth Development Program (YNDP) and there are several Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association ties.
Nathan Groenveld, head coach of the Niagara Knights Men’s Volleyball program, will guide the male Youth team (athletes born in 1998 or later). Last March, Groenveld led the Knights to a bronze medal at the 2015 CCAA Men’s Volleyball National Championship in Charlottetown, PEI. It was Niagara’s first team medal at CCAA Nationals in school history.
Groenveld (pictured above) is also an Assistant Coach for Team Ontario and Team Canada Senior Men’s Volleyball team. The former National Team member is quickly building his resume with the Knights, where he is becoming one of the best coaches the school has ever developed.
“His involvement with the Knights goes deeper than just on the court training and competition,” said Ray Sarkis, the Intercollegiate Coordinator at Niagara.
“Groenveld has developed a leadership program to enhance the players’ development on and off the court and he is much more involved in the academic success of the student athlete which has also resulted in the success of the men’s program in the last three years.”
Meanwhile, Greg Barthel and Louis-Pierre Mainville have been named to the coaching staff for the Select team (athletes born in 1999 or later).
Barthel, who is in the ACAC Hall of Fame, suited up for the University of King’s Eagles as a player before joining the coaching staff. He was named the CCAA Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2004. Barthel, the head coach of Canada’s junior national team during the summer of 2010, is currently the head coach of the Men’s Volleyball team at the University of Regina.
Mainville was a star for the Volontaires de Sherbrooke in the RSEQ and was named a CCAA All-Canadian in 2005. He went on to play for the National team for eight seasons.
On the women’s side, Chris Dahl of Camosun College has been named to the coaching staff for the Youth team (athletes born in 1999 or later).
“What has always impressed me about Chris is his quiet demeanor and his calm coaching style which enables him to get the best out of his athletes,” said Fred Batley, the CCAA’s Women’s Volleyball Convenor. “He is well respected by his student-athletes and fellow coaches in the CCAA.”
Dahl (pictured below) is coming off an impressive season, having guided the Chargers to their first ever CCAA medal last March at the 2015 CCAA Women’s Volleyball National Championship in Longueuil, QC. He was also named the CCAA Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2015.
“CCAA members across the county are very fortunate to developed some of the top head coaches in Canada who continue to be recognized by Volleyball Canada and have been selected to head their Youth Development programs,” said Sarkis, who also serves as the CCAA Men’s Volleyball Convenor.
The YNDP provides an environment of excellence in Canada to expose identified athletes to international level of education, training and competition early in their career.
“We are very excited to put together an excellent group of coaches with a wide range of experience in both athlete development and coaching/playing experience at the international level,” said James Sneddon, Volleyball Canada Domestic Development Director. “Having consistency in our coaching staff from year to year ensures the YNDP is continuing to grow and improve. The coaching staff members are committed to providing a training and development plan to ensure our athletes are moving toward international success.”