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Gannett’s Game Suited for the Sand


Tynan Gannett has rocketed up the beach volleyball ranks. The gifted 20-year-old athlete first picked up the sand version of the sport after his Grade 11 year at Dartmouth High and he didn’t play his first “real” beach tournament until last August at the Canada Games.

But Tynan’s talent, especially as a blocker, coupled with his fast-improving game attracted national attention.

Now he’s about five months in as a member of Volleyball Canada’s NextGen beach program and trains full time in Toronto. Tynan has already participated in a training camp in Los Angeles at Hermosa Beach and made his international debut at a Futures event in Tahiti.

It has been an impressive rise for the six-foot-five Tynan, the only male in the NextGen program without indoor varsity experience. He looks forward to a busy summer representing Canada at FIVB and NORCECA events.

How it started: “I was coached (in soccer) for a year by a guy named Tyler Simmons and he planted a little seed in my brain that I should try volleyball when I was given the opportunity. I did a little skills session at Eric Graves (Junior High) for a season and then tried out for my junior high team.

“A couple of years later I switched to volleyball full time because I was starting to enjoy that after getting a little deeper into it.”

Why beach volleyball is the best fit:

“In indoor, I was reasonably good at every skill, but not exactly a clearcut best on my team at one or two things. To play indoor at an elite level, it gets pretty specified.

“That’s why beach is a little more suited to me. You have to do everything.”

On placing 4th at Canada Games with Josh DeYoung:

“I met a lot of incredible people, got to play some beach volleyball with referees for the first time. It was exciting to be able to compete at least and sort of hang with the best teams in that age.”

On training full time:

“I’ve had about as many touches as I’ve had the rest of my life in the past four months. It has been a lot of work but it has been fun.”

How he advanced so far, so fast:

“Definitely the beach training I got from (Canada Games coaches) Andrew Costa and Adam Spragg. I definitely wouldn’t be here without it. I also got a fair amount of support from VNS (Volleyball Nova Scotia) to continue to train throughout the winter, although not on the beach because that’s not possible. But they let me hang around with their indoor provincial program and gave me support to go to the CSIA (Canadian Sport Institute Atlantic) to train.”

On a possible NORCECA event in Halifax in August:

“I’m keeping my fingers crossed to be able to go to that to be able to play in front of the hometown (crowd).”





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