It is going to be a busy weekend in Niverville and Otterburne as the Providence Junior Pilots host a large U17 and U18 girls' volleyball tournament. 

Bonnie Loewen coaches the Providence Junior Pilots U17 girls' team. She notes the 28-team tournament will be run out of three gyms, Providence University College, the Niverville High School, and the Niverville CRRC. 

“These teams come from all across Manitoba, and they include all of these young women who have worked at this game, many of them since they were 11 or 12 years old.” 

Loewen note there will be 16 U17 teams attending and 12 U18 teams. She credits Carl Fast for his work building this tournament over the years. 

“You can't put a 28-team tournament together just like that, you have to have some history and this tournament has that history.” 

a group of girls celebrate on the volleyball court

The Providence Junior Pilots tournament will get underway early Saturday morning with the finals scheduled for Sunday evening. Loewen says it’s a really special time for all of their players. 

“A tournament like this brings together teams from the Interlake, the Brandon area, and as far as Virden. It's a wonderful gift given to young athletes that many, many communities like this southeastern area that feeds the Junior Pilots, there's lots of pockets like that all over Manitoba that are creating a context for young women to excel in a sport they love.” 

Loewen notes the tournament is highly competitive, but also a great place for community to develop. 

If you are interested in attending, Loewen encourages you to find the Junior Pilots on social media, for the whole schedule.