Local volleyball player aims high

  • May. 15, 2013 7:11 p.m.

The traditional way to see various parts of the world is to plan a vacation to the regions you want to visit.

Red Deer’s John Goranson is going about it a different way using his volleyball skills to visit regions he’s not seen before.

The 20-year-old graduate of Notre Dame High School was selected as one of 14 members of Canada’s National Junior volleyball team recently.

“There was about 40 athletes and there was four days of pretty intense training,” he said about the selection camp May 2-7 in Gatineau, Quebec.

The University of Alberta sciences student said he knew most of the players at the camp through his play at the CIS level and has just finished his second year as a Golden Bear.

Goranson was a multi-sport athlete growing up in the City playing basketball, hockey and lacrosse but it was volleyball which stuck with him as he grew older.

“It really challenges you mentally,” said Goranson, about the decision to make volleyball his priority when it came to sports.

Goranson, who stands 6’6” tall, says his physical and vocal presence on the court are his strengths as a middle blocker.

“It’s really a mentally challenging position because you basically have five hitters you have to worry about and you basically have to zone into the setter and get into his head,” said Goranson about the cat and mouse game he plays with the other team.

The team will train in Gatineau for a couple of weeks and then carry on with preparation in Hamilton, Ontario until July 12th.

The next stop on the agenda is an important international event prior the worlds, the U21 Pan Am Cup July 12-20 in Costa Rica. Training resumes in Hamilton on July 25th and the team departs for Turkey Aug. 15th for the world championship.

But his ticket isn’t exactly booked for travel as only 12 of the 14 players selected will hop on the plane to those foreign countries.

“For me that’s just motivation for this six weeks coming up and to make sure I’m in top shape to be able to make sure I’m going,” he said. “When you get an opportunity to compete for your country it’s something you get to check off the old bucket list.”