Falling in love with volleyball: Red Deer high school student chooses court over ice

Growing up it could have been tough for Kira Weddell to know exactly what sport to pursue.

After all her mother, Jackie, played volleyball, including at RDC, while her dad, Rob, was into hockey and coached at various levels, including the RDC Queens.

But Kira was never pushed one way or another.

“They let me take whatever road I wanted and to play what I wanted,” explained the 15-year-old Lindsay Thurber Grade 10 student.

Kira got into hockey when she was “six or seven” then started in volleyball in Grade 6. She also played soccer, basketball, competed in track and field and field hockey.

She played hockey through her first year of bantam AAA, then committed to volleyball.

“At that point I either had to strictly commit to hockey and nothing else, but I loved volleyball and went that way,” she said.

She stressed that her parents supported her no matter which way she went.

“They were big supporters, still are,” she said. “I’ve had a lot of support.”

One is her club coach Miles Kydd of the Alberta Sports Development Centre — Central.

“He coached me and has been instrumental in helping me develop technically,” said the five-foot-11, middle blocker.

Kydd is one of Weddell’s biggest supporters.

“She’s definitely not afraid to work hard,” he said. “She’s really strong, has a great attitude and wants to be good. She’s a good server and is quick on the offensive side. She needs to work on her blocking and defence, but she’s still 15 and that will come when she gets older and more experienced.

“Sometimes I have to remind myself she’s only 15,” said Kydd, who has recommended Weddell for the provincial U16 team.

She has been involved with the Queens Volleyball Club for several years and is currently with the U17 program, one of the best teams in the province. The Queens finished sixth in the Pandas U18 invitational meet and fourth in the U17-U18 Volleyball Alberta Southern tournament.

Weddell knows a thing or two about winning, and what it takes to be successful, as she played for the LTCHS Raiders, who finished second in the provincial high school 4A tournament.

“That was a great experience,” she said. “Disappointing to finish second, but we lost to a good team.”

The Raiders, with coach Kirsten deZutter, will be strong next season as Weddell is one of several younger players on the team.

“We have several younger girls and Kirsten is a really good coach,” said Weddell, who has always played middle blocker and hopes to continue to do so.

“But I’ll keep my options open … I’ll play wherever they ask.”

She feels her strength is on the offensive side.

“I have good tempo and can read the block quickly and beat the block before it can set up. I do need to continue to work defensively.”

Although she’s not even finished Grade 10 Kira knows she would like to get into veterinary medicine and play volleyball at college or university.

She doesn’t rule out attending RDC.

“I could take a couple of years there before I had to move,” she explained. “We’ll see what happens, but I would like to continue playing volleyball.”

She even has her sights set for years down the road.

“I would love to play for Team Canada or professionally in Europe.”

Coming out of LTCHS that’s not far-fetched with former Raiders, Julie Young and Jaimie Thibeault, both making the national team and playing professionally.

“Julie talked with our (high school) team at the provincials and I’ve met Jaimie before,” Kira said.

Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter who can be reached at drode@bprda.wpengine.com. His work can also be seen at Danny’s blog at rdcathletics.ca

Just Posted

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month