Despite a tinge of nervousness, Lake Country volleyballer Chloe Ladd is excited to head down to the Lower Mainland to train harder than she ever has before.
The 17-year-old George Elliot Secondary School student is among 16 athletes from all over the country selected to participate in the National Excellence Program (NEP) with Volleyball Canada in Richmond. NEP selects 14 to 18 athletes at a time, where the students receive training at the highest level of the sport so they’re ready to compete for senior competitions.
There were tryouts all over the country and after her own two-hour tryout in January, she said she had to wait for a bit before she finding out she made the cut.
But accepting the invitation was something she had to think hard about, especially because she’ll have to leave the Okanagan to live and train in Richmond for four months.
“It’s really exciting, but it’s also a very big decision. Because I’m leaving my family for four months and go out and be more independent. And for me, because I play a different position than what I will be training for, it was also a big decision,” she said.
“There were just a few big decisions to think about, but it’s exciting. Now though, it feels normal but I’m sure two weeks before I have to go, I’m going to get nervous again.”
She added she’s looking forward to training at a much higher level than what she’s used to.
“It’s going to be a whole new environment, with playing a different position, doing school a different way and being with people I’ve never met,” she said.
Ladd said she wants to play at the professional level in the future but right now, she’s taking it one training at a time.