Skip to content

Order on the court; Assiniboia Aces dig that

The net results have been worth it for Assiniboia's newest club volleyball team.

ASSINIBOIA -- A new 14UW Club Volleyball team, the Assiniboia Aces, have taken to the court and net results are worth it.

Talsa Warken, Assistant Coach, along with head coach, Corallee Bushell are new to club level coaching but say after attending the Development Coach Workshop and earning proper certification, they are prepared to head out on this endeavour.

“There have been many club teams at different age groups throughout the years in Assiniboia. There are many experienced volleyball coaches from our community and they have provided myself and Corallee the support and ambition to take on this new endeavour. It has been quite a few years since there has been a 14U club volleyball team,” said Warken.

The athletes are Grade 8, ages 13 and 14.

The Aces season started Nov. 27 of 2023 and will run until provincials April 19-20. The team plays five sanctioned tournaments as well as provincials, and they also have played some exhibition games with other teams within the district.

The club team is a big commitment as it also includes practice every Sunday, a few Friday practises with the rest of the season encompassing competition.

Warken notes that they made the decision to only include Assiniboia players even though they knew there would be a lot of outside interest. Local interest was high. Tryout took place in November with 18 athletes coming out, and both coaches felt that was inspiring to see so many girls that wanted to play.

“Corallee and I decided to take 10 players for the roster as this would be the most competitive playing and training time for players to get the most out of their season. With that, we had to make tough decisions to cut eight and it was incredibly hard to make those calls after tryouts.”

The team created a budget for membership fees, insurance, tournament fees and registrations, jerseys and other supplies and each parent of the athlete paid dues. Warken said they looked at city costs and because there were fewer expenses here, they could make this affordable for Aces families.

The coaches and team are incredibly thankful to the Assiniboia Elementary school for allowing use of their space at no cost, a huge cost saving fee that city centres do not have the luxury of.

“Fundraising and supporting our team is vital as it allows for the development of something that transcends athletes and contributes to shaping our youth in our community. As volunteer coaches, we can lead these athletes to volunteerism and help mould fantastic young people. The morals we can show the players on and off the court builds good character. The girls worked at the Festival of Trees coat check and raised money for their warmup jerseys. Our girls creatively, put together a Valentine’s day basket and sold tickets. They sold out in five days and the commitment to the team is truly recognized. They wanted matching bags for their team and our expectation was that they earned these bags as it was not in our original budget. They continuously want to go above and beyond to help their team. This inspires us for the future of these young minds,” said Warken.

In addition to sanctioned tournaments held throughout the province, the Aces are attending Sask. Cup #3, which is a highly organized event that has a serpentine seeding system for provincial competition.

Bushell and Warken have been playing volleyball together since they were in Grade 7. The duo was also part of a 14UW club team in 2007 with Laurie Hawkins as their coach. Empowered by their experiences the women knew that this was a great age to start a club team, at the same age they started.

These coaches continuously play in a competitive ladies’ league out of Limerick, which they now have moved back to Assiniboia.

“Being in this stage of our lives, we can provide time to give back to our community and support youth in playing.”