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Positive attitude and speed focus for NAIG: coach
Two Nunavut volleyball teams will compete at this week's games in Toronto

Emelie Peacock
Northern News Services
Monday, July 17, 2017

Nunavut is sending two volleyball teams to compete in the North American Indigenous Games in Toronto from July 16 to 23.

Robert Kabvitok, coach for the under 19 men's team, is new to the coaching game, but is looking forward to developing his coaching skills as the team develops.

Kabvitok said the team may start off slow, but will pick up their game quickly. He said the focus will be on speed, as the team may not have the height compared to players in other provinces. Kabvitok said players to watch during the games are Mason Angnakak from Iqaluit and Peter Inootik from Pond Inlet.

Although it is Kabvitok's first time going to NAIG he has been making a name for himself as a strong volleyball coach, together with his partner Holly Mercer, of the Rankin Inlet junior girls volleyball team the Rankin Royals. He said he is proud to see four players from that team make it onto the NAIG U16 female team.

Kabvitok's focus as the men's coach is on creating a positive atmosphere. In the selection phase, he spoke with player's coaches. To ensure the players he chose had positive attitudes and would contribute to a good team environment.

"When we had a conference with all the coaches I told them my one big thing is I want a positive attitude on the team," he said.

Kabvitok said the NAIG experience is an opportunity for young Nunavummiut to widen their ideas about what sports they could use to further their education.

"They'll see there's other sports than hockey. Hockey is a big thing in Nunavut right, and there's other sports that you can try for college or university teams so maybe they might want to think about that. Because most of these boys are hockey players," he said.

Nunavut News/North reporter James McCarthy will be covering NAIG, July 16-23 in Toronto. Look for results from the volleyball team and other Nunavut teams in next week's edition of Nunavut News/North.

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