Young volleyballers train with Canadian Olympian

More than a dozen girls hit the beach Saturday morning, not for a swim but to sharpen their volleyball skills under the tutelage of one of the top beach volleyball players in the world.

Jamie Broder, who represented Canada at the recent Olympics in Rio de Janiero, was on island for a fundraiser hosted by RBC and benefiting the local Red Cross. So, she decided why not share her skills with younger players.

“We were contacted by the Red Cross to say that there was an opportunity for us to have a youth volleyball clinic,” explained Cayman Islands Volleyball Federation President Kennedy McGowan.

“We jumped at the opportunity to have a youth beach volleyball clinic. We’ve had a great turnout with the kids that have come out to take advantage of this opportunity.”

Jamie Broder

Jamie Broder

Broder, who made it to the Round of 16 in Rio, was joined by her fiancée Maverick Hatch, who is also an international beach volleyball star.

The young ladies were coached on spiking, digging, setting the ball and other basic techniques of the game.

“Today, we’re just introducing the kids to beach volleyball. Some of them have played, some haven’t but we’re trying to work on some of those fundamental skills and getting them out here loving the game like we do,” Broder told when we visited Public Beach.

Most of the players are members of the team at Cayman International School who are gearing up for an overseas tournament in October. National team player Jessica Wolfenden is one of their coaches. “At CIS, we’ve just started training our high school team to prepare for a tournament in Trinidad. So, we decided to take advantage of this opportunity,” she said.

“Our team is out here today getting extra reps and lots of great coaching from some of the best in the world. It’s amazing. We’re already seeing improvement. They’re taking in some of the cool tips that they’re giving them and hopefully translate that onto the court and continue to build,” Wolfenden added.

Also on hand to help out was national player Illean Powery and other volunteers.

For Broder, it was a chance to return to the familiar sands where she won the NORCECA tour stop three years ago.

“Seven Mile Beach is a beautiful location. It is one of my favourite beaches in the world that I’ve played at, so I’m always excited to come back here,” the Olympian said.

Before she packed her bags to leave the sun and sand that Cayman had to offer, Broder ensured she left behind lessons that will serve the young ladies well in sport and in life.

“My main message that I’ve learned throughout my years is that believe in whatever dream it is that you have for yourself because, truly for my own journey it’s been self-belief, pushing myself and being very determined in what I wanted to achieve. No one is going to hand you anything. You’re going to have to work very hard to get there but as long as you keep that belief alive and you persevere, you’re going to ultimately reach your goal,” she said.

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