USS student’s summer plans include volleyball in Florida
by Lisha Van Nieuwenhove
A towering 15-year old volleyball player from Uxbridge is currently in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, playing as one of 14 young men selected to play on the Canadian Youth National Select Team. His name is Duncan Clark, and he hasn’t been playing volleyball that long. And here he is, on a national team.
“It’s taken lots of practice,” says the 6’4.5” teen, “but I guess I like it enough to really work at it!”
Duncan points out that the national team he’s playing on, which is 16U, doesn’t expect to win, as they’ll be playing against teams higher and older than themselves, but he says he’s excited about the learning opportunity the event presents.
“Hopefully it will pay off in the long run. We’ll get more skills with higher level coaching there.”
Duncan first tried volleyball when he moved to Quaker Village Public School from Newcastle a few years ago. He worked with coach Larry Griffiths, who encouraged Duncan to attend his volleyball camp, just south of Uxbridge. Duncan built his skill set and joined the team at Uxbridge Secondary School. He still plays on the school team, and is also a member of the Aurora Storm team.
“I really need to mention my coaches,” says Duncan. “They’ve all been really amazing. Antony Kiriakou and Mr. Ghafur, at the school, and at the club, Kevin Therkildsen. They’re all … wow.”
He also credits his parents, John (a chiropractor at Axis Chiropractic) and Katie (a local family counsellor) with giving him a lot of support, and rides to Newmarket for practices!
Duncan applied to play for the national team, and had to be accepted in order to try out. Fourteen teens from across Canada were selected to play; three of them from the Aurora Storm. The team assembled in Brittish Columbia for three weeks to learn skills and how to play together before travelling to the US HP Championships at Fort Lauderdale from July 17 – 23. Coaching staff for the national team consists of Kerry MacDonald, Colin Walker, and Mike Hawkins.
Duncan plays the position of ‘libero’ on the left side of the court. When asked if he gets red, sore arms, he explained that he’s probably hit a couple million balls, and that he doesn’t really feel pain anymore.
He hopes to go to university somewhere in the States on a volleyball scholarship. If, however, for some reason his future doesn’t include volleyball, Duncan says “ if I could have any career I would be the prime minister of Canada. It would be interesting to meet people from different countries and to use a position like this to change the lives of everyday people.”
For your convenience, we have listed a few sports organizations contact information.
Uxbridge Swim Club
Phone: (905) 852-7831
Uxbridge Tennis Club
Phone: (905) 852-2181
Uxbridge Squash Club
Phone: (905) 852-7831
Uxbridge Men’s Basketball League
Phone: (905) 431-3392
Greater Uxbridge Road Runners
Phone: (905) 852-7224
Air Force Mavericks All-Star Cheerleading
Phone: (905) 852-CHEER