Yarmouth County volleyball players Alec Cottreau and Derek d'Eon and Clare volleyball player Renee Cleveland. The three are on Team Nova Scotia teams at the Canada Summer Games.
YARMOUTH, N.S. – The second wave of Team Nova Scotia athletes have headed to the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
Among those competing during Week 2 of the national games are three volleyball players from southwestern Nova Scotia – Derek d’Eon and Alec Cottreau of Yarmouth County and Renee Cleveland of Clare.
“I feel really honoured to be on Team Nova Scotia. I know there are many people who would love to be in my position and I'm privileged I have the opportunity to do it,” Cleveland said, prior to leaving for Winnipeg.
She was looking forward to competing at a national, multi-sport event for the first time. “It will be a unique and amazing experience,” she said.
Cleveland said she loves the sport of volleyball because of its fast pace.
“It's all about thinking and reacting quickly. I also enjoy the teamwork that is needed. You get to know your teammates very well and they quickly become like family,” she said. “We have a close team and we are all very supportive of each other. One of the best feelings is cheering along with your teammates after a great play.”
In another media article prior to the games, Cleveland was described by Team Nova Scotia head coach Jon Elliot as being one of the province’s most effective attackers and brings a defensive specialist role to the team, especially when it comes to receiving serves.
Cleveland, Cottreau and d’Eon have already proven to be tough competitors on their school and club teams. Now that level of competition is stepping up a notch on the national stage.
Alec Cottreau said being on the men’s Team Nova Scotia squad has been an amazing and great learning experience to improve as a player. He said that learning experience will continue in Winnipeg.
“Competing at the Canada games will be a lot of fun, playing against of high-level athletes,” he said.
Cottreau is also familiar with high-calibre competition in the sport, having most recently competed – according to his profile on the Team Nova Scotia website – in Eastern Elites in 2015 and 2016 and U16 Eastern Nationals. He was named an all-star in the U17 Eastern Elite Championship.
Still, the Canada Games is a new experience for all three athletes.
“I've learned so much about the sport since I was on Team Nova Scotia and had tons of awesome experiences with great bunch of coaches and players,” Derek d’Eon said, before leaving for Winnipeg. “It's probably going to be the most memorable week of my volleyball career. I look forward to competing against really good teams and to watch all great Canadian athletes in all summer sports.”
D’Eon, who has played school volleyball for École secondaire de Par-en-Bas and club volleyball with Southwest Fusion, says coming from the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia it was gruelling to travel frequently to Halifax and Truro to prepare for the games, but he says it is definitely worth it when you are given the opportunity to represent your province in large competitions like the Canada Games and the High Performance Championships in Florida, which the Nova Scotia teams went to in July.
D’Eon added he was also looking forward to the Olympic-like atmosphere of the Games.
“It's pretty amazing to have this opportunity. I'm pretty fortunate that Canada Games men's volleyball is my age group this year because it only happens every four years. Some really good players can't go because it skips their age.”
Game schedule are posted on the Canada Summer Games website.