Sangha living “The Dream”
They say when one door closes, another one opens. In the case of Joraver Sangha
however, when one door opened so did many others.
The 17-year-old teen from Mississauga is a force to be reckoned with on the volleyball court. His achievements on the court have led him to experience many things, including traveling across the country for tournaments and sleepovers at the Prime Minister’s house.
This past year Joraver was selected to represent Ontario on both the provincial indoor
team and beach team. He is coming off a 18u Provincial Championships victory last
weekend, despite being a year younger than his competition. Next year, Joraver will end
off his OVA career with Pakmen.
What made you want to start playing volleyball?
Well I actually started watching the sport when I was 11. I would go to all of my brothers’
tournaments and watch him and his friends play. Watching him have fun and get better
motivated me to do the same.
When I was a 6th grade student at David Leeder I knew I had to play volleyball. It was
the “thing” at the school. Everybody was playing it. I tried out for the team and made it,
the rest is history.
What encouraged you to keep playing volleyball?
In the summer of grade 8 going to grade 9, my partner Manpreet Chatha and I had been
playing beach and we’d been doing quite well. That summer we actually won both the
Provincial and National Championships. Winning both tournaments was surreal. It was
our first year really playing beach and beating the best teams from all over Canada was
After that we received an invitation to meet the mayor of Mississauga Hazel McCallion.
She basically congratulated us and told us to stick with the sport.
That summer helped me realize that if I really tried hard at the sport the sky is limit. The
next year I ended up making the under-16 provincial beach team through an open
tryout. Most of the guys there were formally invited. I tried out for fun, and was pretty
excited when I actually made the team.
What is your favorite volleyball memory?
It’s hard to say just one. Winning indoor provincials in 15u with Pakmen was amazing. It was the first big tournament we had won together as a team. Everyone played great and we really came together during the season. That was a good win to have before going into beach season.
Also, this past year I was selected for Quest for Gold funding. Basically the government pays for all of your volleyball related expenses. Being a carded athlete was a great reward for all of the hard work.
What was it like training with Team Ontario this past summer?
It was amazing. I think I improved more in that one week than I did in the past year. It was a tough decision choosing the team Ontario camp over playing at the world championships in Portugal this year but I’m glad I did. The coaches were phenomenal and the training we received was great. Just bonding with all the players and meeting all of the university coaches was a great experience.
You mentioned that you spent a weekend at the Prime Minister of Canada’s house, how did that all start?
I was at a tournament back in 2010, and we were playing the Ottawa Fusion. After the game Ben Harper (Stephen Harper’s son) approached me and we hit it off. We would text all the time and talk on Facebook. He’s a cool guy, not stuck up at all. Then this summer we were both at Team Ontario Camp at Nipissing. The tournament that we were preparing for was in Ottawa. I had not booked a place to stay yet so Ben just asked if I wanted to stay over at his place. I couldn’t turn that down. That’s pretty cool indeed.
What was it like staying at 24 Sussex Drive?
It was awesome. We actually spent most of our time at his cottage, which is just down the street. It had a grass court so we were playing tons of volleyball.
The house itself was cool. Tons of security everywhere. I did get to talk to Mr. Harper though, he’s a really nice person. He knows a ton about volleyball and he watches the world league every year.
Any other celebrity encounters we should know about?
Not really. I met Drake this one time at Beach Blast. We were all hanging out and having a good time. He was there with his crew, watching everybody play volleyball. Getting coached by Canadian Volleyball legends like Jeff Chung is more than enough for me.
We can both agree that volleyball’s taken you pretty far. What are your plans for the future?
I hope to represent Canada on a global stage. Next year I will most likely play at the Under-19 world championships. After that I’m off to university where I plan to pursue a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
We’d like to thank Joraver Sangha for taking part of this interview, and we wish him all the best in the future!