February 6th, 2021
It's been a minute, but the Dome Digest is back. Since you last heard from us in November, both a lot and very little has happened. 
"A lot" in reference to the shutdowns that halted sport (and many other businesses and gatherings over the past few months). "Very little" in regards to our ability to operate due to said shutdowns.
Fortunately the light at the end of the tunnel has made an appearance, with AHS putting forth their steps towards re-reopening over three week periods. So starting this coming Monday, February 8th, our doors will be able to open ever so slightly.
In this issue we'll go over our single file approach to bringing patrons back in the facilities, how and when we hope to open up our other programs, and what else has happened over the break.
Table of Contents
Never before have athletes had the opportunity to get so many good old fashioned reps. Whether it be via club team coach on ones, in house private sessions, or just coming in to serve a bunch of balls on your own, now is definitely the time to buckle down and really refine those individual skills, since that's all that will be allowed for the next 3 weeks minimum (more likely 6+).
While the Volleydome GYM will be opened to patrons wanting 1 on 1 sessions, there will be a little bit more to think about during your next visit. Firstly masks will again be mandatory when entering and exiting the building, but also mandatory during play for all coaches, and strongly recommended for athletes (it's a good idea to get used to them, as tournaments will require masks during play if they happen this year.
Secondly, coaches and athletes will be asked to enter the building no earlier than 5 minutes before their scheduled session, or they'll be asked to wait outside. We will also only allow 1 person to enter at a time, to discourage any mingling and to try to give everyone their 3m of personal space for the duration of their visit. Sticking around to chat with your friends will not be allowed in the building.
I know it feels lonely, and we hate it too, but we all need to do our best to be extra vigilant over the next few weeks if we hope to have team sport reopen sooner rather than later. 
As always, the first ones on our floors will be from our homegrown club athletes from Canuck and jr. Canuck teams. If you're a member of either, and haven't heard anything from your coaches yet, be sure to get in touch with them or check out the information on their web pages below.
Both clubs will be trying to get all their athletes as much time with a volleyball as possible, in order to get their kids' legs and shoulders primed, and keep attitudes optimistic and hopeful about the potential season ahead.
Just be aware that both Canuck and jr. Canuck are taking different approaches to the 1 on 1 training format, due to availability of coaches. Again, we encourage you to contact your team, or visit their web pages below for more information.
Keep updated with news about both clubs via the following links:

Over the past few months, the NBVL played a game of will they won't they about whether or not the season would be able to run. Sadly due to the extra cautious, though very understandable, nature of AHS's plan to reopen sport, the 2021 NBVL Season was postponed indefinitely, with the option to return during the summer with a few changes (namely being played outdoors), or else start all over again next Winter. 


Prior to the draft, our very own Dome Defenders made a big time trade up to get the number 1 pick in the draft, where they selected our very own Ben Saxton to join his sister, team owner and 2020 league MVP Camille Saxton. Thanks to the trade, they wouldn't get another pick until the 5th round, but were able to round out the team nicely with Aadam Nanji and Mac MacNicol joining Ben on the men's side, and Leah Andries and Jolan Storch giving Camille a boost on the women's side of the team.


Whether this roster will get a chance to strut their stuff this year is still yet to be determined, with summer time being the earliest possible. You can stay up to date via the league website below, or you can go back and listen to episodes of the NBVL Podcast, hosted by Ben and Dustin Saxton ( I suggest episode 4, where we get Don, Ben, Camille, and Dustin all in one place talking about the Dome Defenders).

You may not know Luis Castillo, but if you've spent very much time around the Volleydome facilities there's a good chance you've seen him around. Usually coaching for hours on end helping out with the SAVC Club, Luis also represented the Dome Defenders in the 2020 season of the NBVL Calgary, and is always seen with a smile on and off the court.
For the past few months, Luis's has sadly developed a very painful tumour on his spinal cord that needs to be surgically removed. Since he is Dominican born, medical costs are not covered by healthcare, so Luis needs help to cover the suregery.
His Canadian family, the Burnsides, have organized a Gofundme page (below) to help Luis to cover his medical bills during this rough time in his life. We are all reaching out, so that he can get the help he needs to recover, and we can see him back playing and coaching the sport he loves soon.
I've always found that volleyball is the truest team game of them all, because it's nearly impossible for an individual to win a game. You have to rely on your teammates to at least play every other contact. In order to play well as an individual, you also need to have good teammates that you trust to do the right thing. On the flip side, one person can make all the perfect plays, but go nowhere if they aren't on the same page as their team or have teammates that don't have the same skill.
So in a sense the volleyball community as a whole should understand the task at hand when it comes to following the Covid-19 guidelines. We need to treat all Albertans (all humans really) as our teammates. Let's all be on the same page and do our best to make each other better. In so doing, we all become stronger. No one can do it alone!

We're still looking for more of your Dome memories. If you've got a story to share please send an email to with the subject lin "Dome Story" . Likewise you can also send any suggestions for future issues to the same address.

There's no place like Dome! 
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