Volleyball Canada


Volleyball Canada embarks on women’s national scouting tour

Volleyball Canada is preparing for future success. With sights set on future podiums and Olympic qualifications, Team Canada Women’s Volleyball assistant coach and head coach of the Next Gen Team, Shannon Winzer, is getting set to travel Canada in search of future stars. She’ll be looking for 16 grade 11 and 12 athletes through a series of Talent ID camps to participate in the Women’s National Excellence Program (NEP), starting September 2020.

“I think this is such an exciting time to be playing volleyball in Canada. With more athletes training with our Senior National Team than ever before, with the establishment of the women’s Next Gen team and now the launch of the National Excellence Program in September 2020. I’m keen to get started!”

Shannon Winzer

Winzer will tour Canada from December to February, making stops in Niagara, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Halifax, and in British Columbia (city to be determined). While the majority of athletes will be identified by their Provincial Associations, the trials are open for players within the age range. The camps will be competitive, challenging, and bring high expectations.

“Each camp will consist of both basic physical testing as well as technical and tactical assessments through a series of drills and game play,” explains Winzer. “Does an athlete have the ability to meet the physical requirements of the international game? Do they have a strong competitive drive and do they show a willingness to learn and adapt? A truly high-performance, full-time training environment is an exceptional environment meant for exceptional people. It’s about more than just being able to play the game or perform a skill.”

The selected participants will spend Sept. to Dec. 2020 in Richmond, BC, training where the Women’s National Team trains at the Richmond Olympic Oval. The four-month program will give the young athletes a high performance daily training environment with support from the Senior National Team staff.

Students will continue their educational studies through online coursework from their respective provinces. They will be provided with accommodation through a homestay family, who will provide room, board and meals.

The program will look to enhance the players’ technical and tactical skills to match and exceed those of other countries. It will also improve the performance of the athletes at their current levels and as they work their way up, potentially to the National Team.

“Volleyball Canada recognizes 2028 starts with 2020 NEP intake. We need to be targeted in our development of identified high priority players who have the potential to help our Canadian Women’s Team to future podium success,” says Winzer. “This is a way for us to accelerate the development of these athletes to ensure they are learning tactical and technical aspects of the game in line with the Senior National Team, but also supplement their club and provincial team competition opportunities with higher level competition and training so that they are ready for international competition at an earlier age than what we are currently seeing.”

While Volleyball Canada and the women’s Next Gen head coach are striving for future podiums, Winzer knows that it’s on the players to think big as well, “A lot of young volleyball players have the goal of playing for Canada, but I challenge players to shift that to aspire to winning a medal for Canada at the Olympics.”

The 16 selected athletes will be sent offer letters by mid-February after the candidates are reviewed by a selection committee consisting of Winzer, the Women’s National Team head coach, High Performance Director, Athlete & Coach Pathways Director, Youth National Team head coach (also Provincial Technical Director) and the Provincial Team head coach.

This scouting trip is the first of its kind in Canada. These camps will be limited based on facility space and coach availability. If necessary, athlete attendance may be restricted and ID Camp participants would be determined by Volleyball Canada and the provincial organization’s recommendations. 

For athletes looking to sign up for a Talent ID camp, you can do so here: http://bit.ly/NEP-IDcamps


Full Talent ID camp schedule:

Niagara, Ontario: December 6-8, 2019

Calgary, Alberta: December 14, 2019

Edmonton, Alberta: December 15, 2019

Winnipeg, Manitoba: January 17-18, 2020

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: January 19, 2020

Halifax, Nova Scotia: February 1-2, 2020

*BC dates to be confirmed for January


Volleyball Canada media contact:
Jackie Skender jskender@volleyball.ca
Mobile: 613-794-7676