A pair of Red Deer residents have been recognized for their involvement in the local volleyball community each winning an award at the Volleyball Alberta Mikasa Achievement Awards last week.
Red Deer’s Geoff Trentham and Trent Rix came home with some hardware for what they’ve done for the sport in the community. Trentham won development coach of the year and Rix won volunteer of the year.
Trentham is the Founder of Nexus Volleyball, which offers volleyball camps for children, but also has a long history of coaching in Red Deer for 10 years. He’s currently a volunteer coach at Hunting Hills High School and has previously coached for both Red Deer Polytechnics Kings and Queens club teams and has helped out with provincial volleyball teams.
The development coach of the year award is meant for someone who demonstrates good characteristics of coaching and have devoted a lot of time to coaching.
“I was humbled,” Trentham said. “If you look back at the list of coaches who have won it in the past a lot of those coaches are still involved in the game… It was an honour to be kind of put in the same category as them.”
Volleyball he said has been deeply rooted in his life. His father also coached the sport and his brother and he both played it throughout their lives.
“The reason I continue to coach is because I’ve loved the game forever I like to give back to a game that gave me so much and the relationships and experiences that have come my way through sports are some of the most important that I have in my life. I think those are the things that keep me coming back and to just see and watch kids develop and develop a passion for a sport that I have as well it keeps me coming back,” he explained.
Before coaching Trentham also played throughout his youth before playing for Medicine Hat College and for the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
His first coaching experience coaching was helping out during a Notre Dame High School Cougars volleyball camp when he was 17 years old. He took an interest in coaching after his playing career was done and credited Adam Sillery with helping him get into coaching. The two of them coached the senior boy’s volleyball program at Hunting Hills High School.
Rix told the Advocate he has been a volunteer in the volleyball community in Red Deer for the past 10 years as he had three kids who all played the sport.
He has been heavily involved in the Kings and Queens volleyball programs supporting his kid’s teams. Rix has done almost everything a volunteer can do to help out including everything from being a manager, treasurer, scorekeeper, getting sponsorships, getting team gear, and many other ways.
“Just depended on what the team needed I tried to do what I could to support the teams and help them be successful. Let the coaches coach and let the teams be successful and try to take some pressure off all the tasks that needed to be done,” Rix said.
For a decade he has been helping his children’s teams be successful with his youngest graduating this year. Next season will be the first time he won’t have one of his kids in the programs he volunteers for. All three will be playing collegiate volleyball next season. Rix also played volleyball in high school, so it’s clear it’s a sport that runs in the family.
“The sport has been very good to us,” Rix said. “It’s hard not to support them when they’re getting so much out of it and I’ve seen firsthand how this sport has shaped who they are and it’s been a really important part of their lives and It’s been great for my wife and I to some of our best friends have come out of the relationships we’ve had with the volleyball parents we’ve been on different teams with.”
What drove him to help out for as long as he has is there are a lot of things that need to happen for a team to have success. There are a lot of processes that are the parents’ responsibility to organize for each team and wanted to help relieve some of the duties.
“Part of it is we need to get it done and let’s just all pitch in and do it but the other part is there are lots of opportunities that come out of volunteering as well. In different roles, you meet lots of great people scorekeeping is a great example… It not only helps the team but again it’s a great opportunity to be in the action and meet a lot of other people as well,” he added.
Winning the award means a lot to Rix because It’s recognition for something he wants to do and that he does to help support his children.