Volleyball is almost a way of life at Donalda School.
Participation in volleyball has spanned generations in Donalda, which defies its small-school status.
“Our school has a tremendous tradition in volleyball,” said Don Seale, coach of the schools boys’ and girls’ teams. “The boys have done well over the years. The boys have brought home a number of banners. In fact, there is going to be a trophy put to retirement in Donalda, because out of the past 30 years, our name is on it 13 times.
“Volleyball has been our sport. For many years, the girls have owned central Alberta. A former principal had a tremendous program that I stepped into, and learned from him, and we continued on from there.
“It’s exciting to be at that school. It’s a great school.”
Although volleyball is a team sport, individual attention isn’t lost in Donalda’s strategy.
“Team sports aren’t what we focus on,” Seale said. “We focus on the life lessons that come out of team sports. We talk to the kids about being the best team that they can be.
“When you cover all the aspects of that as an individual and collectively, then winning come along for the ride.”
Donalda is a steady supplier of volleyball players for high school teams in Stettler and Bashaw.
“One advantage of being a smaller school is that kids get more time on the court,” Seale said. “They start earlier because of it being a necessity. That’s where you see the Grade 7’s on the starting lineups.
“In situations like that, you find the younger kids step up earlier than what they would normally do so in a larger school.
“We also have two Grade 5 girls and one Grade 5 boy that are a part of the teams. Even though they don’t play in large tournaments, they come to the practices and are working their way toward when it is their time.”