By Heather Cameron
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Tryouts for this year’s Taber WHAM! Volleyball Club will be held on November 26 and 28.
“Taber WHAM! Volleyball Club is a club volleyball team run in Taber. Club volleyball offers opportunities for players to compete at higher levels and improve their skills. Our teams range from U13-U18,” Aleah Weiss, President of the Taber WHAM! Volleyball Club said. “This year we are pleased to offer a U12 age category as well.”
The Taber WHAM! Volleyball Club, Weiss said, is run by the club’s board of directors with the governing body being the Alberta Volleyball Association. Weiss is the current president of the club while the secretary is Elisha Willis, the treasurer is Mark Planger, the individual responsible for the gym booking is Marty Planger, and overseeing fundraising is Shannon Clarke. Funding for teams, Weiss says, is run by teams themselves and teams are able to raise funds by different fundraising methods – bottle drives, raffles and hosting home tournaments have been done in the past.
Practices for the season, Weiss says, start in the new year and the season typically goes until May.
“The program is run so that youth can play past their school season and develop more throughout the year,” Weiss said. “Teams compete against other Alberta teams in Premiers and Provincial tournaments. National tournaments are also available for the older age groups. We are hopeful the 2024 season will see six Taber WHAM! teams competing in Calgary and Edmonton throughout the season.”
Weiss says that activities within the WHAM! club include two practices per week, two to three premier tournaments in Calgary and/or Edmonton and a provincial tournament. Older age groups, Weiss says, are also able to compete in Nationals. Teams, Weiss says, also have the option of competing in local tournaments and/or hosting their own tournament.
“The program is great for developing players. If you start in U12/U13, the program is all about development,” Weiss said. “Premiers are played triple ball style with an emphasis on fair play. Everyone gets to develop! We have a great lineup of coaches this year with a lot of knowledge, so we are excited to see our players progress in their skill and learn new techniques in the game.”
Weiss says that to participate in the program, people need to register on the Taber WHAM! website https://taberwham.weebly.com, as well as the Alberta Volleyball Association website.
Once tryouts are completed and teams are picked, Weiss says, there is a fee to pay.
“If you want to support teams we advertise home tournaments on our social media and this year we have added a streaming service to our webpage so games can be watched from anywhere,” Weiss said. “The Taber WHAM! Facebook page is highlighting our coaches in the coming days. Please check it out to learn more about head coaches/assistant coaches.”
“The community and surrounding area are responding great – we have opened registration up and are seeing some really good numbers in a few age groups,” Weiss said. “We encourage anyone who loves the game to come to our tryout! There is still time to register before tryouts. Tryouts are open to anyone wanting to play, you don’t have to live in Taber. We have had players from surrounding communities come to our tryouts as well, as have some Taber kids competing in Lethbridge.”