Vernon's Brittney Page in action for Team Canada. She has officially retired as captain of the national women's volleyball team.

Page ponders pro volleyball future

She’s almost 33 and has seen most of the planet while playing pro and amateur volleyball since graduating from Seaton Secondary.

She’s almost 33 and has seen most of the planet while playing pro and amateur volleyball since graduating from Seaton Secondary.

And while Brittney Page has filed retirement papers as captain of Team Canada, her career may not be over just yet.

“I’m telling everyone I’m retired, but my agent is e-mailing me like crazy,” said the bubbly Page. “I’m so torn. I’m definitely retired from Team Canada, but there’s always one more contract. I’m inspired by guys like Jaromir Jagr, who’s playing hockey at 48.

“I would have to sign soon for three months and I like the idea. It’s not off the table.”

Page and the 1999 Sonics will hold a reunion of sorts Tuesday night with a friendly match against the current provincial senior AAA silver-medalist Sonics. They will play three games before mixing up the rosters for the final two tilts.

“I’m really happy about helping such a great group,” said Page. “I’ve been around the Seaton teams in and out for four years and the booster club is doing a great job promoting athletics for the school. I was in Kelowna to present the girls their silver medals and it was like coming full circle.”

There will be a post-match party at Wings with five per cent of all proceeds going to the Sonic booster club. Some monies from the match will support KidSport in Vernon.

Jossann MacKenzie, who helped the University of Alberta Golden Bears win a national title, Trish Tutte, Gayle Chung and Page’s sister, Lindsay, are among the alumni committed to the exhibition. Lindsay owns a candy boutique in Toronto.

“Everybody will be re-living their love of the game,” said Brittney. “Trish is flying in from up north.”

After excelling for the Eastern Washington Eagles in Cheney, Page began a 10-year pro odyssey which landed her in Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Finland, China, Spain and Italy.

She played in China two years ago, becoming the first Canadian to do so. She spent last season in Bolzano, Italy.

“Bolzano was so similar to Vernon. I got there and looked around at the orchards, mountains and wineries and thought, ‘Wait a minute,’ I know this place.’”

Page, a six-footer, joined the senior national team in 2009. Since 2012, she has served as team captain.

At Guadalajara 2011 she was part of the first Canadian women’s volleyball team to compete at the Pan Am Games since Winnipeg, 1999. Page has played in more than 100 international games, including two appearances at the FIVB world championships in 2010 and 2014. In 2014 she led Canada to sixth place at the Pan Am Cup, the team’s best result at the event in a decade.

Page began playing volleyball at age 14 because her sister played and she tried to emulate her every move. She made national youth and junior teams before signing with Eastern, where she graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in children’s studies.

Today, she is doing a number of things, including working for Rhonda Catt and Carla Rayner at Excel Fitness in Vernon and Gyro Beach Townhomes in Kelowna.

“I took last summer off, but I felt guilty so I went to the gym every morning at eight. I did not realize how beautiful it was here. I feel so lucky.”

The pro game is “appealing financially” and Page has also loved the intangibles that come with playing abroad.

“It was a really cool lifestyle. I met so many people from so many different cultures and now I have friends all over the world. I gained so much personal growth. I’m happy with the person I’m become and the player I’ve become. It’s such a consuming life, but I’m young and athletic.”

Her parents Denby and Sheri Page, and older brother, Steven, are among her prime supporters.

Nicknamed Britty or Brick, Page likes spending time in nature, hiking or swimming at a lake.

Her favourite quote is from legendary pro golfer Bobby Jones: “Competitive sports are played mainly on a five-and-a-half inch court, the space between your ears.”

Her pregame routine includes a nap, some pump-up tunes and some good coffee. She collects jewelry and has specific earrings – big studs or curls – she wears for games.

Admission Tuesday, 7 p.m., is by donation.

 

 

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