August 4th, 2020
It would be an understatement to say that 2020 has been an emotional roller coaster so far. Every day there's new information that could make or break everything that came out the day before.
We've been holding our breath since being allowed to reopen our GYM doors and beach gates on June 12th, and we're not quite ready to let out a full sigh of relief just yet, but the last month of having people out on the courts has been oh so refreshing.

“People say you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. Truth is, you knew what you had, you just never thought you’d lose it.” - Clarissa Wild

The temporary shut down scared us, we had to rethink how the facilities and our programs should be run, we went back and forth 10+ times on which facilities to keep running and at what capacity. Now that we're back to operating we won't soon forget how quickly things can change again if we aren't careful.

That being said, this issue will give a look at what's been going on since we've returned to action, and what to look for in the coming months.
Table of Contents
First and foremost, the breaking news! 

The chaos of the last few months brought many reasons for the Dome's original location to close its doors. We've been slowly demolishing the interior piece-by-piece since the shut down, putting everyone to work (see picture). At this point all that's left are the main offic, some floors, and sand. Then, in the last few days, a new kind of chaos started swirling in a brand new direction, offering a glimmer of hope that the Dome location (2825 24th Ave NW) might stick around in some capacity.

As of this writing, things are looking promising for us to be able to move forward in the building with one major surprise in the works. The hardcourts will not return, but the beach courts might be able to remain active. Plus the added kicker that we should be able to bring back 2 indoor beach courts that can remain in use year-round. Fingers crossed that things can be worked out, otherwise it will be demolition as usual.

This does still mean that all hardcourt programs will remain exclusively at the GYM (293057 James Jones Way) for the foreseeable future. It also means you can hope to start seeing year round beach volleyball programs and leagues headed by Ben and Camille Saxton.

Things are still being decided, though we are very optimistic. It may not be a full goodbye just yet, though it would be a brand new look and feel. That being said, in next month's issue, we'd love to reminisce about the good times we've had at the bubble in all its glory. If you've got a fond, funny, or memorable story to tell about your time at the Dome, we'd love to hear from you so that we can share it in the next Dome Digest. 

Please send your story by email with the subject line "Dome Story" to
The Volleydome GYM has come back to life in the last month and a half. Even though numbers have been limited, we haven't been lacking in enthusiasm. From youth to adult, the love of the game and the support of the GYM has never been more evident, and we truly appreciate every bit of effort that's been expended on our floors as of late. Here are a few of the things that have been going on on the courts this summer:

Summer Camps - Camp Info
Our beginner camps have had to run with limited numbers for Covid-19 reasons, but so far each one has filled up, and the kids have been bumping and setting up a storm. There are still a few spots available for select weeks in August, so don't miss out if your child is born after 2004 and wants to get on the court ASAP.
We've also been hosting some specialty camps led by some of our most experienced coaches, for those club level athletes looking to put in a little extra time.

Canuck - Club Info
The club volleyball season got cut short just like everything else this past Spring. Normally athletes would be taking the summer away from the hardcourt to recover from the season or to go play some beach. This summer, players have been allowed to join their teams for practices until the start of fall when school seasons would normally start. One change that maybe wasn't expected is that spectators have been prohibited, so parents have had to remain outside (unless attending yoga sessions scheduled parrallel to club training times, see below).

Jr. Canuck - Club Info
Similar to above, the Jr. Canuck programs (for those athletes that are newer to the club volleyball environment) missed out on a large chunk of their training season. They are also back on the floor prepping for the high school season that may or may not be upcoming. With the same spectator restrictions as for Canuck.

Adult Leagues - League Info
Our more mature regular patrons have also returned to the floor in a limited capacity. The rules have been modified to keep interactions per day at a minimum, cohorts under 50, and start times have been staggered to keep the entry as clear as we can, but the competitve atmosphere and tiered match play remain.
Fall registration is currently OPEN
If you've been around the Dome and the beach courts this summer, you've probably seen a bunch of kids burning their feet during the last few weeks heat wave, but also getting pretty darn good at beach volleyball. This summer we decided to put an emphasis on our beach programs for a couple of reasons: 
The first being that with World Tour caliber athletes Ben and Camille Saxton around to coach, we couldn't pass up the opportunity to get an Elite Beach program up and running.
The second, because being outdoors and playing in teams consisting of fewer athletes make the beach game more Covid-19 friendly than the indoor game.
Here's a quick overview of the ways the kids have gotten sandy over the last month:

Bumpin' Beach - Program info
Bumpin Beach was designed for club players to keep playing volleyball over the summer, and refine their skills and athletisism. Skills because 2 players on the court means lots of reps of all kinds. Athleticism because constant jumping and running in the sand is great for cardio and plyometrics. Plus they all get a great tan.
This summer there are 97 athletes over 7 groups, that all practice twice a week, with 4 play weekends (described below). The boys sessions are led by Randy Popplestone and Adam McDougall and the girls coaches are Meghan John, Grace McKale and Allie Bates

Elite Beach
The Elite beach program was created for those athletes that really wanted to pursue the sand game. More commitment was necessary as these athletes played every weekend in July, and some groups will continue into mid August. Camille has been molding the minds of 3 girls groups (14U, 15/16U, and 17+), and Ben has been overseeing 2 boys groups (15/16U, and 17+).
As of this year, either with the potential of courts at the Dome, or else another indoor beach facility, the intention is to continue on the sand over the course of the full year. We will offer some sand training in order to supplement indoor club seasons, but will also be catering to those athletes that want to make the beach game their priority.
If interested or for more details, please email Ben Saxton or Camille Saxton

League Play - Girls League info, Boys League info
With new regulations comes a new way to play. We had to get a little creative this year, to try and keep competition interesting, without causing the kids' cohorts to grow too large. Our solution was to move to a league play system. This way the kids have been able to compete, but stay amongst their training groups for the most part, with the potential to move up or down an age group after a few weeks of solid play. Every game is recorded and posted (in the league info links above) so that the athletes can see how they've performed and where they rank amongst their peers, giving a little bit of incentive to do better each week.
We'll look to continue tweaking this system and potentially keep it going into the fall/winter. If Covid-19 restrictions ease in future, there might be the possibility to open it up to any athletes looking to play on a given weekend.

Dome Club and Mini Dome Club have become a staple at the Volleydome facilities over the last decade (Mini-DC since 2004, DC since 2009), as less competitive alternatives to club volleyball. Weekly volleyball programs with a team atmosphere and all gameplay done in house to avoid the monetary pressures of playing a full club season.

Dome Club caters to athletes 11-17 who love to play the game, but aren't quite able to commit to a full club season's training or travel schedule. It's a natural progression for graduates of the Mini Dome Club, our program built for true beginners of the game that emphasizes skills and fun in volleyball.

Both programs will be returning this September, with a few necessary changes due to Covid-19. Firstly, like with all other hardcourt programs, everything will be run out of the GYM location (293057 James Jones Way). Also, instead of full day tournaments, we will run gameplay slots, to avoid running super spreader events. Another change is that we can't allow parent spectators (including gameplay) until after we get beyond Alberta's Stage 2, as we aren't allowed to exceed 100 people in the building (though Yoga participants will be allowed indoors, see below). 

Finally, and most importantly, NUMBERS ARE LIMITED!! If you're interested in registering your child for Dome Club or Mini Dome Club, we recommend you do it soon, as we are running only 1 Mini-DC group this fall, and all of our DC groups are nearly half full already.

You can register with the following links:
Mini Dome Club Registration
Dome Club Registration


About Restore Yoga with Emily 

These classes are designed to bring balance to the body and the mind through holding poses and exploring what each pose has to offer you. When we slow down we relax the nervous system, we focus on our breath, and we become stronger mentally and physically.
*These classes are beginner-friendly and socially distanced. Located inside the meeting room. 


About Emily

Motivated by her history competing on the Canoe/Kayak National Team, dealing with injuries, and exploring new forms of breath and movement, she developed a love for Yoga. After studying Psychology, Emily completed her 200hr Yoga Teacher certification in 2018, and her Rainbow Kids Yoga Teacher certification and is an NCCP certified coach. She has taught in Vancouver studios, schools, athlete workshops, Calgary sports clubs, and community centers. Emily's purpose in teaching others yoga is to create a space to foster self-exploration. She believes yoga should be accessible to every body.


Emily is available for private and group sessions. Contact her for more information at


Registration link:



Mondays  3:30pm-4:30pm

Tuesday the 4th: 3:45pm-4:35pm 

Tuesday the 11th 4:00pm-5:00pm & 5:30pm-6:15pm 

Tuesday the 18th: 4:00pm-5:00pm & 5:30pm-6:15pm

Thursdays 3:30pm-4:30pm & 5:15-6:15pm

Sundays 1:00pm-2:00pm 

September classes TBD

Another month of uncertainty down, but starting to lean towards feelings of normalcy. We hope you're enjoying the newsletter so far. We're still playing around with what information to send out each month, but the closer we get to the way things were, the more you'll get to read about our current/future programs, with a few new, fun, and/or interesting stories in between.

If you missed the note earlier, we're looking for 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! 
The Volleydome
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Dome - 2825 24th ave NW, T2N 4L6, GYM - 293057 James Jones Way, T4A 0X1, Calgary, AB ., Canada

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