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Volleyball tournament on new flooring to end the season

Organizers hope for players to come out
Toota Tatty, Reanna Johnston and Noreen Muckpaloo gather for a photo as three members of the Laura Gauthier Memorial Volleyball Committee. Missing is Amy Kaludjak. Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

Some spiffy new volleyball courts are in at the Agnico Eagle Arena, and a tournament coming up this weekend will be just about the last time to use them before they are replaced by turf for the summer.

“It looks amazing,” said Toota Tatty, one of the members of the Laura Gauthier Memorial Volleyball Committee, about the new courts. “It was kind of neat to play here and not have the badminton lines, not have the soccer lines or any other sports you would find in the gymnasium.”

Some players are still getting used to the hard flooring, which isn’t quite the same experience as school gym floors, she added.

One great way for people to test them out, if anyone needs a break from camping, is with a tournament coming up June 3-5.

“I’m a little bit nervous about that,” said Tatty, referring to the good weather and its impact on sport participation.

But it will be a good way to end the season and prepare players for how the court will play come Rankin Inlet’s marquee volleyball tournament, the Laura Gauthier Memorial, in September.

“Volleyball is something that you can come and try and play and have fun with, without getting too competitive,” said Tatty, adding that it appeals to all age ranges because of that.

She’s one of several members of the LGM committee over the years and had the fortune of being taught by the late Laura Gauthier herself while in junior and senior girls’ volleyball more than 20 years ago.

“She used to live in Rankin Inlet and played a really big role in volleyball in the community,” remembers Tatty.

Tatty fondly remembered her days being coached by Beverly Ford and Gauthier attending practices to teach players how to do drills and proper rotations.

“She was amazing to play with – friendly, fair, technical,” said Tatty. “She was just the whole volleyball package.”

Gauthier passed suddenly in 2000. The 20th anniversary of the tournament in her name was supposed to be in 2020 until Covid happened, so organizers look forward to holding the event properly come September.

In the meantime, Tatty hopes to see more people join the local tournament and test out the news courts this weekend.