Loreburn prepares for RAVE tournament

Over 200 girls are coming to the Village of Loreburn this weekend with the intent to put on a show for the many community members who make this annual trip to one of the largest volleyball tournaments in rural Saskatchewan possible.

The girls make up the rosters of 16 different senior girls volleyball teams that will be competing in the sixth annual Really Awesome Volleyball Experience (RAVE) tournament held at the Loreburn Rink and Loreburn Central School Sept. 5 and 6. Eight junior boys volleyball and an equal number of junior girls volleyball teams will follow the senior girls into Loreburn on Sept. 13 for the second leg of RAVE.

“It’s just a lot of volleyball,” said Vanessa Tastad, president of the Loreburn Recreation Board and an organizer of the event. “The kids don’t have a lot of breaks. They’re getting a lot of games in and it’s at the start of the year, so that seems to be good.”

Tastad said the Loreburn Recreation Board puts on the tournament in partnership with Loreburn Central School and both split the profits made through RAVE to help fund different initiatives over the following year. She said the board would be using the money from the annual fund-raiser to help cover operating expenses at the Loreburn Rink during the winter season.

Community help from manning the booth to working the gate along with just the initial set-up of the three courts at the rink is key, said Tastad, noting it would not be possible to put on a tournament of this size if it wasn’t for the way residents of Loreburn, Elbow and Strongfield embrace it every year.

“We ask our community people to help fill in shifts for the booth, which is huge because the booth is the big money maker at the event,” she said. “The community does that and we add extra items throughout the tournament, like we try to have more healthy items. We ask the community members then to donate the food to it, so we have fruit cups and veggie bags and perogies.”

Arlene Norrish, an assistant at Loreburn Central School and co-organizer of RAVE, said their portion of the money raised at the tournament helps fund some of the school’s programs and activities they do for the kids during the year. She said they have managed to bring in around $2,000 for each organization in past years at RAVE, but really the main purpose of the tournament is to get the girls together for a volleyball season kick-off.

It’s “mostly teams from within our Sun West School Division, but there are a few from outside our division,” said Norrish. “Loreburn is actually combined with Davidson this year because we (have) a low number of girls. We’ve only got three Loreburn girls for the senior tournament and they are actually playing with Davidson, but they wanted to keep RAVE going and are enthusiastic about coming out and helping to try to keep this tournament alive.”

Sandra Baldwin, coach of the Davidson/Loreburn RaiTecs, said the Loreburn girls and 10 Davidson kids that make up the senior girls volleyball team this season are “very excited” to hit one of the three courts at the rink or the fourth one set up at Loreburn Central School this weekend for their first tournament action of the year.

To read more please see the September 1 print edition of The Davidson Leader.