A handful of White Rock and Surrey athletes helped lead B.C. to a gold medal in men’s volleyball at the Canada Deaf Games last month in Edmonton.
The B.C. squad – captained by former Semiahmoo Totem Cole Sanderson, 24 – went undefeated in the tournament, which wrapped May 19, winning three straight against Ontario in the championship game.
“I am so proud of our team,” said coach Kyle Brewer, a former Elgin Park Secondary volleyball star. “We brought together a group of deaf men with varying volleyball skills and experiences… and created a strong team that played really well together.”
More than 200 deaf athletes from across Canada took part in the weeklong Deaf Games, competing in both summer and winter sports.
In addition to Sanderson and Brewer, the BC side included Surrey’s Granger Campbell, Justin Dressler and Matt Tarnowski, White Rock’s Richie Dyck. The team was also managed by White Rock’s Kim Sanderson.
For many of the athletes, it was the rare opportunity to play together – at a high-level event – with friends they’ve known for years.
“Many of us, from across Canada, have known each other since elementary school – we share a passion for volleyball and it’s great to get together. It just means so much more to be able to compete with long-time friends,” said Sanderson, who won a provincial high school volleyball championship with Semiahmoo in 2005.