Kam Siemens launched the first Indo-Canadian volleyball team in Terrace back in October 2022. On April 30, teams from Smithers, Prince Rupert, and Terrace competed in a friendly match at Skeena Middle School in Terrace, making it the first Indo-Canadian volleyball tournament in Terrace.
The event ran from noon to 7 p.m., providing a welcoming environment for players of all backgrounds and fostering community integration.
The Terrace-based teams comprised four squads, including one from Caledonia Secondary School, Terrace Volleyball Club, and two from the Indo-Canadian volleyball team. While the tournament primarily targets the Indo-Canadian community, many non-Indian players have joined, showcasing the inclusive nature of the event.
The tournament aims to offer a social outlet for individuals, especially for international students who might not have parents or family in the community. By participating in the games, newcomers to the area can engage with the community, improve their English skills, and foster a sense of belonging.
“We’re their family here,” said Siemens, emphasizing the importance of providing a supportive environment for newcomers. Local volleyball teams, such as the one led by Kyle Hawyes from the Terrace Volleyball Club/Team in Thornhill, show their support by participating every Sunday.
Caledonia Secondary School’s mixed team, comprising three male and three female players, also joined the tournament. They train with the Terrace Volleyball Club and participate in the games on Sundays.
The event has helped build relationships with Volleyball BC in Prince Rupert and other communities, such as Smithers, which recently joined the tournament in Terrace.
Players chip in to cover gym fees, and many of them have a sports background, with volleyball being a top interest. The tournament also draws in players who enjoy cricket and other sports. Siemens’ initiative has successfully met the growing demand for sports activities in Terrace, with many players expressing their appreciation for having something to do outside of work.
Participants have reported that the team has helped them meet like-minded people and feel a sense of belonging in the city. The tournament has not only provided an opportunity to play sports but also contributed to fostering community integration and camaraderie.
Viktor Elias joined the Terrace Standard in April 2023.