Sixteen-year-old Tionna Lenart began playing volleyball in elementary school, but she didn’t develop a love for the sport until grade eight when it became more competitive. A typical conversion at that age. A typical athlete she is not.

 Lenart doesn’t bench her personality. Consistently awarded best sportsman, in grade 10 she rose to the top of her peer group and beyond when she was awarded South Peace Secondary School’s most sportsmanlike female. Considering the factors that make a great sportsman, it’s easy to see why Lenart has become one.

 “I spend a lot of the time doing sport-based activities with my family…” she says. Water sports in the summer, outdoor hockey games in the winter and backyard volleyball drills with her younger sister have given her a great base.

 Lenart recognizes the emotional, mental and physical influences that family, coaches and sponsorships play.

 Gridiron’s sponsorship, “gives me an opportunity to get in the gym and work on important things like cardio and muscle strengthening.” It’s also that support that makes her want to work harder as an athlete, pushing her to achieve her goals.

 Her plans for the coming year? “Hit the gym as much as possible to work towards increasing my vertical and being able to move faster on the court.”

 The team has competed in 7 tournaments with a total loss of 3 games, and like she says, “that is an amazing achievement.” Ending with provincials against the best teams over three days and losing only one was an empowering end to the season, but we looked no further than her own team for the person who inspires her.

 “Coach Will played volleyball all throughout high school and got scouted to play for the Grand Prairie Wolf’s college team,” she explains.  “The technique he has and the love he still has for the game today is so inspirational. He taught me everything I know about volleyball. The time he puts into working with not only me and my team, but many other of our club teams is unbelievable and so generous. He is definitely my biggest inspiration in the game.”

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