Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to after the 2019 Canada Winter Games wraps up.
Just as the Games conclude March 3, Red Deer College will get ready to host 2019 Men’s Volleyball National Championship on March 6.
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) officially announced RDC to host the championships Monday.
“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.
The championships will be at the new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre – a key component to the CCAA bid.
“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,” said Ward.
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 haven’t been able 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.
Schulha said the crowds have been fantastic during the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) championships.
“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.”
Ben Holmes, a 2016 – 17 CCAA Men’s Volleyball National gold medal winner from Red Deer, is 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.
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.