Around 100 volleyballs players converged in Williams Lake for the first annual Kaylee Iverson Memorial Volleyball Tournament on Friday, Sept. 22.
Hosted by Columneetza Junior Secondary School, the tournament attracted students from Grades 7 to 12.
While the majority were from Williams Lake, eight students came from 100 Mile House.
Kaylee played volleyball at Columneetza in Grades 7-9 and then played the sport at Lake City Secondary in Grade 10.
She died in a vehicle crash on Highway 97 on Feb. 10, 2023.
Volleyball coach and teacher Tim Hurley asked all the players to gather together on the court before the tournament got underway.
Kaylee’s family was watching the tournament, and some members were going to play.
Hurley invited Kaylee’s parents Amanda and Eric to join him at the microphone.
“This is a special moment for me and my family. This is a special moment for all of you guys,” Hurley said.
He described Kaylee’s personality as positive and said it didn’t matter how things were she always had a smile on her face.
“She could light up a room,” Hurley said.
Encouraging all the players to have fun he told them the scores did not matter.
“It’s about making each other better. That’s what Kaylee would have wanted.”
Amanda thanked everyone for coming and for thinking of the family.
“Please have a lot of fun, joke and have some laughs,” she said. “If you see a teammate not doing well or knocked down because they’ve messed up, give them a hug and cheer them on.”
Eric also thanked everyone for coming out and said “it means a lot to us.”
“I miss seeing Kaylee playing sports,” he said.
He told the Tribune his daughter loved to play sports, and loved volleyball.
“She had one phenomenal overhand serve,” he said. “She made friends with everyone.”
Hosting the tournament was the team’s idea, said player Lily Fraser.
“We just wanted to have a fun volleyball tournament and honour Kaylee.”
Lily said she played on the same volleyball team as Kaylee for three years.
“A lot of people here knew here. She was really fun and really nice.”
The memorial tournament marked the first of the volleyball season.
There were eight teams in total.
Volleyball games will take place until 3 p.m. at Columneetza, spectators are welcome.
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