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Sunday, Jul. 22, 2018
Van Lankfelt to offer volleyball camp this month
2018-07-10
by Randy Pascal

From his start in sport to his eventual ascension to the height of volleyball success in Canada, Toon van Lankfelt has seen it all. Now, he wants to share some of the nuggets of his athletic voyage with Sudbury court talent.

The former member of the Canadian National Men's Volleyball team and husband of local product and NCAA volleyball standout Kristina Fabris, van Lankfelt is offering a three-day camp, later this month, aimed at female players ages 15 to 18.

"It's tough to get exposed to new tactics, new strategies," he said. "I believe that every athlete can learn something new from different people. It's about exposing them to all-encompassing skills. At a young age, you sometimes get pigeon-holed into one specific position, but the new thought in volleyball is that you need to be good at everything."

The Peak Performance Volleyball Camps are slatted for July 24th to 26th, hosted at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School. Sessions will run from 1:00 until 4:00 p.m. daily, with the three-day program being offered at a cost of $200 (+ HST).

"I will be introducing the kids to some of the stuff I have seen being done with the national team and professionally, in different countries, stuff that we don't really see in Canada that much," said van Lankfelt. When it comes to the on-going debate about how best to develop elite level talent, regardless of the sport, the 28 year-old man who has donned the maple leaf understands the tug of war that pits sport specialization opposite multi-sport development.

"Kids overseas, at the age of these young players, are already working with professional teams, joining their system and working their way through at 14, 15 years old," he said. "We produce the same quality of athletes that any of these countries do, but we just don't get enough repetition."

"On the flip side, I am a big believer in playing every sport that you can, at a young age. I'm not saying that it should be only volleyball, but when it is volleyball, then have a few more sessions a week, more exposure to more competitive teams down south."

As for the camp itself, van Lankfelt is striving for something of a push for those who enroll. "The goal, typically, when I do a camp is 15 athletes, maybe a bit more," he said."This way, you have full teams with girls rotating in, where you cna keep everything at a high pace."

"We want to cycle the girls in and out, so everyone stays fresh. We want to push the girls out of their comfort zone a little bit, that's how you learn." The reality, for both van Lankfelt and Fabris, is that few folks in Sudbury can equal the level of play that the young couple have been exposed to over the course of their respective playing careers.

Now comes the time to give back. "I think we both want to play a partin building volleyball in the community here," said van Lankfelt. "We're not saying we need to be the ones spearheading these things, but we definitely do want to help, overall, raise the level of volleyball in the city."

For more information, or to register, kindly visit the following website: "www.mediwell.ca/workshops.aspx".

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