Despite being born and raised in Red Deer, Shauntelle Hogg figured by the time she got into Grade 9 she needed to move on if she wanted to develop her volleyball skills.
As a result she travelled back and forth three to four times a week to Calgary to play with the prestigious Dinos program at the U15 level and the following year her whole family moved to the Stampede City.
“I lived in Red Deer and attended Hunting Hills in Grade 9, but I felt there was better coaching and a higher calibre of training with the Dinos that I needed if I was to attain my goals,” she said. “I needed to put in the work at a younger age and develop a strong base.”
Her father, Brian, also worked in Calgary at the same time and commuted between the two cities, so making the move to Calgary was a natural move.
“My brother was going to attend Mount Royal and with my dad working there it was a good fit for the whole family,” said Hogg.
Hogg continued to play club volleyball for the Dinos and at William Aberhart High School, one of the top programs in Calgary.
“Aberhart was great. It has a high academic standard and a strong girl’s volleyball program,” Hogg explained. “We were always one of the top two or three teams in the city and ranked provincially. This year we won the city, but didn’t perform our best the first two days at the provincials, which hurt.”
However, overall the move to Calgary paid off for Hogg as she’s now training with the women’s national team full time training centre in Winnipeg.
The 17-year-old graduated on Jan. 28, a semester early, and immediately joined the training centre.
Her first chance to see what the national program was all about came when she was 12.
“My dad won an auction online for an item called Team Captain for a Day. I travelled to Winnipeg and worked out with the team for a weekend and got a chance to sit on the bench for an international game against Peru,” Hogg explained. “That’s when I was introduced to the coach.”
However, it was contact between the national team coach and the University of Calgary head coach, Natalie Schwartz, that ultimately led to Hogg’s invitation to the training centre.
“I’m going to attend the U of C next year and the national team coach contacted Natalie and asked if there was anyone who would fit into their program and she said I’d be a perfect fit.”
The six-foot-two Hogg plays middle blocker, a position she’s playing with the national program.
“I thought I may be switched to the right side, but so far I’m still in the middle. I hope I stay there, although it’s tough internationally as there’s some middles six-foot-five and up.”
Normally Hogg would be looking for a position on the junior national team, but because of a lack of funds there’s no team this year.
“Unfortunately this year there’s no funds to run a senior B team or a junior team,” Hogg said. “So they’re keeping 18 players on the senior A team. However, I got an opportunity to train from June 24 to July 24 with six to eight other girls my age group as well as some players from the senior team who won’t travel with the team.
“That’s not bad as I still get to train with high calibre girls and awesome coaches.”
That will only help her as she prepares for university.
“Definitely,” she said.
“It allows me a chance to realize how fast the higher level is and the work ethic you need to put in to be successful.”