Spotlight - Women's Volleyball Team in Paraguay


MONDAY, JUNE 27, 2011



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LANLGEY, British Columbia – The Trinity Western women’s volleyball team returned home recently from an Athletes in Action led missions trip to Paraguay, from April 26 to May 10, where the group served in nutrition centres, orphanages, churches  and in a number of other capacities just helping wherever there was specific need.

The team, largely based in the country’s capital city Asuncion, helped prepare meals and played a variety of sports with the local children at the nutrition centres and orphanages, along with completing several service projects, which included the likes of painting rooms and cleaning up garbage-ridden areas. At the end of each day, the Spartans played volleyball matches against local clubs where they also had opportunities to share their testimonies with both the team they had just played and their teammates.            

“It was a great experience,” said Spartans middle Lindsay Dykman (Terrace, B.C.). “We saw lots of opportunities to share God and share our sport. The impact on us was a really spiritual one and it really deepened our understanding of the world and of God and of each other.

“We now have a totally new perspective on western wealth and, having gone from extreme poverty to seeing how we live, it’s hard to justify. There was lots of thinking to do.”

The trip was one in which the group was able to both serve an impoverished people and, at the same time, grow closer together as a team. From walking through the slums of the city to celebrating the unexpected healing of a six-year-old who had previously contracted dengue fever, it was a most impactful experience.

“Different girls experienced different emotions and different struggles as they saw different things or even shared part of their own story,” said AIA leader Christy Taylor. “And now they have that shared experience – where the girls had an opportunity to be there for each other – in which they can draw upon some of those experiences to continue to grow deeper and be more vulnerable with each other.”

And while there’s no doubt a team can gel without such a trip, the Spartans trip in Paraguay was something that brought the team closer together on several levels.

“With the things we do teams can get brought together, but this is something unique,” said Spartans coach Ryan Hofer. “It goes deeper and you’re able to see truly the hearts of the people you’re around. The trip is more enriching. You’re able to experience a deeper level.”

Amber Brown (Three Hills, Alta.), who missed this past season due to injury, added: “It think this trip will be really good for us as a team because everyone shared their testimony and you had to be pretty vulnerable sharing. Everyone poured out what was on their heart and what’s going on in their lives. Being vulnerable with the team will really create unity and just relying on each other to trust each other with that information that’s so dear to their hearts. I think it will help on and off the court bring us closer together.”

The Spartans are coming off a successful 2010-11 season in which they won a CIS bronze medal for the first time in the program’s history. The women’s volleyball team will open its season Oct. 28 on the road against Saskatchewan. The Spartans first home game of the year is Nov. 18 against Regina.

About Spartan Athletics
Since Trinity Western entered the CIS in 1999, Spartan student-athletes have accumulated a number of significant awards including a CIS Athlete of the Year (BLG) award, four CIS Player of the Year awards, a CIS Elite Eight Academic All-Canadian award, three CIS Rookie of the Year awards, a CIS Libero of the Year award, three CIS community service awards and numerous CIS All-Canadian and Canada West All-Star awards. In twelve years as members of the CIS, the Spartans have won six national titles (women’s soccer in 2004, 2008, 2009 and men’s volleyball in 2006, 2011), 15 CIS championship medals, an individual CIS championship in track and seven Canada West championships.

About TWU
Trinity Western University, in Langley, BC, is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts, sciences, and professional studies university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counselling psychology, marriage and family therapy, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is consistently the most decorated of the four conferences in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), winning at least 10 CIS national titles every year, 1997 to 2010. Comprised of 14 schools, from the provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, the CWUAA produces numerous major award winners and Academic All-Canadian student-athletes each year, with many going on to athletic success around the globe in pro leagues or events such as the Olympics, Paralympics or Universiade Games. “cwuaa” on Twitter.

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Fifty-one universities, 10,000 student-athletes and 550 coaches vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit




Last Updated: 2011-06-27
Author: Mark Janzen