2013: A season to remember
Written by Nishaan Sodhi
Another year, another national championship. Scratch that, make it three national championships. Welcome to the world of Pakmen Volleyball.
This past May, the Pakmen Volleyball Club sent a syndicate of teams to the Canadian National Championships, with all teams sharing a common goal: to win. Four teams came away with medals, including three golds, one silver, and one bronze.
The club, based out of Mississauga, has experienced a plethora of growth and success in its first 10 years of existence.
This was on display at the Eastern National Championships held in Sherbrooke, Quebec. Fielding two teams in the under-15 age group appeared tricky at first, but the decision ultimately paid high dividends. In the semi-finals of the under-15 championships, Pakmen u15 Gold were up against Pakmen u15 Black. Pakmen u15 Black ultimately won the three set thriller. “Pakmen Gold pushed us to perform at our highest level. They have great players who only made us better,” said Amar Balkaran, head coach of the u15 Pakmen Black. Team Black would go on to win gold, with Team Gold settling for third place.
Not to be outdone by their close friends and rivals however, Pakmen u15 Gold travelled to Regina to take on the best of the best out west. After being undefeated in the first two days of play, the team would eventually go on to the finals to face the talented Canucks White team based out of Calgary.
After splitting the first two sets, the Mississauga Pakmen showed “they were ready for it” and won the third and final set in convincing fashion.
With the boys a year younger experiencing much success, the under-16’s decided to get in on the action too.
The u16 Pakmen went into Nationals with the confidence and demeanor that one would expect from the defending national champions. Going into the finals, the team was undefeated, having only lost one set throughout the tournament. They were met by provincial rivals, the Niagara Rapids. “The boys practiced hard all season for the opportunity to repeat as national champions,” said head coach Mike Albert. “The team remained focused and determined throughout the event resulting in an undefeated record”
Despite all the success in the past month, the players aren’t getting complacent.
“Repeating as National Champions was a thrilling experience. Success in volleyball has motivated me to work hard in other areas in my life. With exams coming up, it’s time to hit the books. But as soon as schools done, it’s time to win again – this time on the beach”