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'Unites us all': Regina volleyball tournament incorporating reconciliation into sport

A Regina high school volleyball tournament is educating student athletes on Indigenous culture and reconciliation.

Ahead of the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation (TRC), the Campbell Invitational Volleyball tournament (CIVT) rebranded to the Reconciliation in Sport Volleyball tournament.

“In the past, the CVIT operated solely as a competitive venue,” said Jolene Sentes, tournament chair and coach. “Now we see it more than that.”

Of the TRC report’s 94 calls to action, five relate directly to sport.

A drum group and jingle dancers performed for coaches, officials and athletes ahead of Friday’s opening games. Many participants wore orange shirts to mark the holiday.

Each group also made a commitment to the 89th call for action, which calls for inclusion of Indigenous athletes and culture in sport.

“It’s an opportunity for athletes to make a pledge towards reconciliation,” Sentes said.

While many associate Sept. 30 with a more somber meaning, school Indigenous advocate Jordan Parisian believes sport may be an avenue for healing.

“It’s hard to just think about the negatives,” he said. “But the only way to move forward in reconciliation is forward.”

“Education is important and we need to acknowledge the atrocities that happened in our country. But to move forward and walk together through sport unites us all,” Parisian added.

Athletes took what they learned in the classroom onto the court.

“It brings us in as a community,” said Ava White, a senior player with the Campbell Tartans. “We’re building back a relationship with Indigenous people to better our ways.”

“Sport is the avenue,” said Sentes. “But it’s a simple way it can be the forefront for the growth and regrowth of Indigenous nations.”

Sentes said the annual tournament will continue to promote reconciliation and education for student athletes for years to come.

The tournament runs through Sept. 30 at Campbell and Martin Collegiates as well as Harbour Landing School. Top Stories

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