Klaess back to inspire youth

Kalyn Klaess will be inspiring more young volleyball players. 

Klaess, 24, will be leading another round of Champs beach volleyball camps over the coming months. She will be working with youngsters in the 7-14 age group in the hopes of cultivating more talents like Ileann Powery and Chante Smith-Johnson. 

“Champs is starting up Saturday morning camps at Royal Palms from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Saturday [from May 3] through June 7,” Klaess said. “After June 7, Champs will be offering five-day camps, Mondays through Fridays, during the summer. The goal is to focus on a wider range of youth beach volleyball players. Simultaneously, Champs is also designed to bring an outlet for youth players who want to learn a new sport and to develop the existing skills of those who do play and have a desire to get better.” 

Klaess held a camp at Public Beach in March that attracted around a dozen youngsters. The New York City resident and native of Huntington Beach, California, ran similar camps in the United States, where she has been coaching women’s volleyball since 2007. She starred for the University of Rhode Island and had a ranking in both Amateur Athletic Union and Association of Volleyball Professionals beach volleyball tournaments throughout Southern California from 2006 to 2011. 

Klaess was at the recent North, Central America and Caribbean Volleyball Confederation 2014 Beach Volleyball Circuit opener in Cayman. The local female players placed eighth, with Cristin Alexander and Jessica Wolfenden getting two wins and two losses in the double elimination bracket, just missing out on the quarterfinals. Under-21 prodigies Powery and Smith-Johnson were the other female tandem and they lost both of their matches in their debut. 

Klaess says the girls can be role models for future players. 

“Those girls put up a great fight at NORCECA and I think it was great exposure for them to play against some of today’s top talent. Young and new beach volleyball players develop new idols and get a chance to see how well the professionals play. The dedication, the heart, and skill it takes to play at such a high level; that tends to encourage more kids to try beach volleyball.” 

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Kalyn Klaess will be leading more camps in Cayman. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES

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Ileann Powery is a promising young player.
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