The future of Pakmen Volleyball is in good hands
by Nishaan Sodhi
It’s hard to believe, but it has been over 10 years since Mississauga’s Pakmen Volleyball Club was established. Things were different back then. There were no house leagues or summer camps. There was no glamorous Nike sponsorship. In fact, players would often wear soccer jerseys to tournaments. As the years passed, the club slowly but surely grew.
Today it is the largest and most diverse youth volleyball club in Canada. Pakmen has won tournaments across continents, and players routinely travel across the globe to compete. Jessy Satti has seen the rise of Pakmen Volleyball and has been at its forefront. Satti, whose Pakmen career ended in 2008 with a national championship has been involved in the club ever since.
In 2004, Pakmen fielded its first under-14 team. The athletes were almost all eighth grade students from David Leeder Middle School, the school where Kelly Smith, the founder of Pakmen, was a teacher. Satti tried out for the team on a whim, and was pleasantly surprised when he made it. He wasn’t too familiar with the sport and tried out simply to keep up his fitness. Throughout his first season of play, this changed and he quickly fell in love with playing volleyball. In its first season of competition Pakmen would go on to win the gold medal at the indoor Ontario Provincial Championships. It was well represented on the beach too as Jessy Satti and partner Kadeem Clarke dominated teams from across the province, en route to their very own beach provincial title. A feat unheard of for two first time players.
Satti would continue his Pakmen career throughout high school, winning multiple provincial and national championships. His spectacular ability to set made him a lethal indoor player, while his ball control and deep understanding of the sport made him a terror on the sand. The composition of his skill set allowed him to morph into a team leader who other athletes looked up too.
“We could always count on Jessy,” says former Pakmen standout Kadeem Clarke. “He was a smart player who always made the right play.” After winning gold in Ottawa at the u-18 national championships, Jessy Satti went on to play under Wally Dyba at York University. He would transfer after two years and continue playing setter as a Bruin at Sheridan College.
With both his Pakmen and varsity playing careers over, Satti took his talents to the beach. But this time as a coach.
In just 5 years as a Pakmen coach, Satti has guided teams to countless Gold medals at both a provincial and national level. His most recent success story being Parvir Jhajj and Sharone Vernon-Evans, two exceptional athletes who are coming off a fourth place finish at the under 17 World FIVB Youth Championships.
Team Canada officials took notice of his coaching abilities after seeing the duo from Pakmen play at the tournament qualifiers. He was quickly selected to be Jhajj and Vernon-Evans coach and represent Canada in Acapulco, Mexico this past July. The trio made their presence on the international stage known by rolling through their opponents en route to a fourth place finish, staying undefeated up until the semi-final match. When asked about the experience, Satti has much to say.
“There is nothing better than competing on an international level”, says Satti. “The kids were surrounded by past and future olympians and they built relationships with athletes that they’ll be competing against for a long time now.” Jessy Satti continues to coach for Pakmen and doesn’t see that changing any time soon. A summer camp leader and elite beach training coach, he remains heavily involved in the club.
The jerseys have changed, and the numbers have grown. But the future of Pakmen is set to remain in good hands with Pakmen Lifers such as Jessy Satti sticking around and sharing their passion of the sport with the upcoming generations of Pakmen athletes.