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Aylesford teen heading to Canada Games for volleyball

Simon Archibald lines up for a serve at the beach volleyball court located in the backyard of his family’s home in Aylesford. Archibald is representing Team Nova Scotia in the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.
Simon Archibald lines up for a serve at the beach volleyball court located in the backyard of his family’s home in Aylesford. Archibald is representing Team Nova Scotia in the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

AYLESFORD - Volleyball is a bit of a family affair for Simon Archibald.

His mother, Sheri Archibald, coaches and played in the Canada Games, his three older siblings have all gone on to play at the post-secondary level and his youngest sibling is also keen on the sport.

Needless to say, the Archibald household was a happy home the day Simon received word he’d be representing Team Nova Scotia at the Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg.

He’s been working hard to prepare for his Canada Games debut for the last year, and feels confident Team Nova Scotia is up to the task.

“We’ve been training like crazy,” the 18-year-old Aylesford resident said.

“I’m very honoured to be a part of what’s going on right now and I’m really proud of my coaches and my teammates.”

Team Nova Scotia head coach Lisa DePaoli has worked with Archibald in a few capacities in recent years, and she’s thrilled to have him on the roster for the Games.

“He brings a lot of energy on the court. He’s a good leader, a good team player and he’s got good overall skills,” she said, noting that he boasts a strong defensive presence in the left side position.

She added that Archibald’s work ethic and positivity shines through both in practices and games.

“He brings the best out in other players around him as well.”

The Canada Games prep has included trips to Florida and Manitoba to face highly skilled, out-of-province competition. Archibald vividly remembers playing against stellar athletes from the University of Manitoba’s varsity team.

“They were on a whole different level,” he said with a laugh.

The recent West Kings District High School graduate has played levels of volleyball, starting with his middle school team in Grade 7 and advancing to the provincial team by Grade 9.

No matter the scenario, he tries to drown out whatever is happening outside of the game.

“When I’m on the court, volleyball’s the only thing going through my head,” he said, adding that mental strength is just as important as being prepared physically.

Off the court, Archibald practices several times a week, trains at his gym, runs and tries to ensure he is well rested for every competition.

“Volleyball is a just huge part of what I do, and it’s like an everyday thing for me.”

He’d love to return home from the Canada Games with a medal, but his main goal is to play his absolute best.

“That’s when people notice players like me and other players on my team, when people step it up at this stage,” he said, noting that Team Nova Scotia planned to bring a lot of intensity to the court when they faced Saskatchewan in their first match Aug. 7.

“We’re hoping to put on a push this year.”

After the Games, Archibald intends to either play for St. Thomas University in New Brunswick or Prince Edward Island’s Holland College next season.

“It’s just what I love to do,” he said.

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