A standout athlete from Nanaimo has been selected to be part of Volleyball Canada’s national excellence program.
Tianna Kehler of the Mariners Volleyball Club and Nanaimo District Secondary School Islanders was one of 18 high-performance athletes from across Canada selected to be part of the program. She is the first-ever MVC athlete to be selected, according to the club.
“Her athletic and technical development has really taken off in the last few years. This has led to a number of fantastic opportunities that she will now get to experience,” said Rick Bevis, the club’s technical director, in a press release. “I am confident that Tianna will be a wonderful ambassador for the Nanaimo volleyball community as she continues her athletic journey.”
Kehler, as a Grade 11, helped the NDSS Islanders to a fourth-place finish at senior AAAA girls’ provincial championships in Nanaimo last December. In her club volleyball season this past spring, she helped the MVC Mariners to a fourth-place finish at U18 provincials.
As part of the national excellence program, Kehler will move to Richmond for the fall to train with Volleyball Canada staff, including Olympic-level coaches.
“[The program] is designed to prepare athletes to perform at the highest level of volleyball and continue their development toward the national senior team and playing professional volleyball,” noted the press release.
Kehler is part of Team B.C.’s U19 select roster which is competing in the Canada Games in Niagara, Ont., which begin Saturday, Aug. 6.
“This is an incredible accomplishment for an athlete Tianna’s age as many of these players are already playing volleyball at the U Sports and PacWest [level] as collegiate athletes,” the release noted.
Kehler recently played with Volleyball Canada’s U19 national team which placed sixth at the Pan Am Cup in Tulsa, Okla. from July 18-23.
The 16-year-old has already made a post-secondary commitment and will attend UBC to play U Sports volleyball and study kinesiology.
“Tianna is so grateful for the support, encouragement and high-performance training she has received at MVC,” the club press release noted.