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Tuesday, Sep. 25, 2018
Wiseman to take on much larger role with the Northern Chill
by Randy Pascal

Still more change within the Northern Chill Volleyball Club as Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School graduate and former OUA/OCAA athlete Kevin Wiseman takes on a bigger role with the local youth organization, recently appointed as Technical Director for the Chill.

A setter and libero for the Waterloo Warriors from 2010 to 2013, Wiseman returned for one final season of post-secondary play back home, suiting up with the Cambrian Golden Shield in 2014-2015.

Since that time, he has continued to build on his introduction to the coaching ranks with the Stratford Cobras 15U Boys team (2013-2014), serving as an assistant with the Cambrian women's team in 2015, and jumping in to help out with the 17U Chill girls the past two years.

"This is something I can really sink my teeth into," Wiseman said recently. "I hope to bring a younger energy and passion into this role, because I am still very passionate about volleyball. It's really all I want to do in my free time."

Finding full-time work locally upon his graduation, Wiseman will be responsible for working hand in hand with the club coaches, overseeing the technical direction of the club and assisting with the development of coaches for all seven teams currently being fielded by the Chill.

"I'm not coming in to reinvent the wheel," acknowledged Wiseman, jumping into the role at just 26 years of age. "A lot of these coaches have been coaching with the club since the beginning, or just a few years in. This is more about just having a centralized position where the coaches can have more of a discussion and get more on the same page throughout all age groups."

"That way, when teams get to a certain age group, we know what the kids are going to know." The Northern Chill Volleyball Club, an all-female athlete association, was launched for the 2005-2006 season, with just three teams at the time.

The group has now grown to include teams ranging from 12U through to 18U, with the Chill graduating athletes on to the post-secondary ranks pretty much every single year. "The pure growth that the club has had and the involvement of people that have been here since the start, I've seen it all the way growing up," said Wiseman.

"It's clearly an enjoyable thing to be around, and I've already seen that in the two years that I've been here, the positive energy." Despite being just a few years removed from his own playing days, Wiseman is not naive to the challenges that face the Chill.

"One of the issues is just how many competitions teams in the south are able to play," he noted. "They can travel half an hour and play three clubs. Our closest one is an hour and a half away. That's just an obstacle we have to live with in the north."

Which is not to suggest that progress cannot be made. "My goal is to help excel our club, make it a more competitive club down south," said Wiseman. "We've already taken a step towards that by introducing a team at U12."

"It's all about having the skills and the basics down earlier, so that athletes can work on perfecting it earlier, and then expand to include tougher serves and stuff." With Chill creator and long-time lead organizer Michael Margarit stepping down this summer, the group has been excited to welcome an influx of young coaching talent to the ranks, including a healthy core of former players giving back to their club.

"There was a good group of volleyball players that went through the city, who are all very passionate about the game, who all want to help out and stay involved," said Wiseman. "I think it's great for the club, because it brings that new energy, getting lots of new ideas, always adding to your bank of volleyball knowledge."

In fact, for the technical director himself, a solid sounding board comes from none other than former Cambrian teammate and Chill assistant coach this past season, Sheldon Root. "He and I can stay up until the early hours of the morning, just talking volleyball," Wiseman laughed.

"We're always having discussions, and that's good." Well known for his "off the charts" intensity during his playing days, a slightly more mellowed Wiseman understands the need to strike a healthy balance with this new undertaking.

"Balancing my competitive mentality with the development mentality will be important," he said. "You do need to give all the players the experience to be able to push on." The Northern Chill Volleyball Club is expected to introduce their new executive and board of directors some time later this summer.

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