Annual event brings together Christian school teams
Knox Christian School in Bowmanville hosted its annual Invitational Volleyball Tournament, attracting teams from 59 elementary schools Nov. 14-15.
Member schools from the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) and Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) participated in the event. Knox invited all area schools to participate, and welcomed St. Elizabeth Catholic Elementary School this year.
The participating schools range in size and come from as far west as Windsor, north as Sudbury, south as Rochester and east as Ottawa. Teams may include students from Grades 6, 7 and 8.
“It was a very successful event,” says Knox principal George Petrusma, who was the tournament organizer.
One hundred local volunteers helped with scorekeeping, refereeing, scheduling and concession. Grade 8 Knox students who were not playing at the tournament worked at the concession stands to fundraise for their trip to Ottawa in May.
Bringing together the players, spectators, coaches and volunteers for the two-day tournament has a lot of benefits.
“It builds our own community here in Bowmanville and it builds a wider community of Christian schools as well,” says Petrusma.
The teams were divided into categories based on gender and the size of school. Each category went through a round robin and playoff. Ten volleyball courts were used at five schools.
An opening assembly at Knox kicked-off the event and after Saturday’s playoffs each category had a medal ceremony.
This year’s category winners were:
- A girls - Durham Christian Academy Bowmanville
- A boys - Kingston Christian School
- AA girls - Maranatha Christian Academy
- AA boys - Dundas Calvin Christian School
- AAA girls - Trenton Christian School
- AAA boys - Trenton Christian School
The tournament has a really good atmosphere, says Petrusma, which is an attractor for the schools.
Caroline Prinsen, Kingston Christian School teacher, attended as a supervisor for the school’s two teams.
She says the atmosphere was good and everybody mingled really well. One student on their team is moving to Metcalfe and was able to meet and talk with students from that school.
“Every year it’s just been great, lots of fun,” she says.
The girls volleyball team from Northumberland Christian School in Cobourg participated in the A category.
“We love going with our kids,” says volunteer coach Yvonne de Graaff. The tournament is a great opportunity for the students to experience tournament play before going to high school when teams may be more competitive, notes de Graff.
De Graaff says one of the highlights was during the team’s last round robin game. When the score was close at game breaks the team members said, “We have to pray.”
Another highlight was when a player who tended to not serve gave it a try and got two over the net.
The tournament is great for students to be part of the games and spirit of the event, she says.
“Knox does a fantastic job of putting this tournament together, it’s very well organized,” says de Graaff.