Matt Robinson of Brandon quit hockey after breaking his collarbone twice, but found his calling on the volleyball and basketball courts.
(TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Two broken collarbones couldn’t change Matt Robinson’s passion for sports, just which sport he played.
The Brandonite broke his collarbone two years ago while playing hockey and then on the other side the following season. It took a couple months for him to recover from the injuries both times, and when he returned to the sports scene, he opted to hang up his skates and focus on other sports.
Basketball and volleyball have become his main sports now and he’s enjoying them quite a bit.
"I love sports and it’s my favourite thing to do. I wouldn’t think twice about it," he said about returning after the injury.
On the volleyball court, Robinson has proven to be a solid 5-foot-9, 140-pound setter. He helped his freshmen boys’ high school team from Vincent Massey reach the city final, and on the weekend he was part of the Brandon Volleyball Club team that finished seventh at the 15-and-under club provincials at Brandon University’s Healthy Living Centre.
Robinson started playing volleyball when he was in Grade 7 and became a setter after he was told he had good hands. Jared Friesen, a member of the Brandon University Bobcats men’s volleyball team who coaches the 15U BVC squad, agrees that Robinson has the hands to set, but there are other aspects of his game that are impressive as well.
"He’s pretty physical for a young kid and he has good hands," Friesen said. "It’s apparent that he’s had a lot of experience. I didn’t know too much about him before this year but he’s really come and opened my eyes a bit. … Matt’s a guy that can make the best possible set and it’s always a decent, hittable set, which is good to see in a young kid."
One of the reasons he’s developed over the last few years is his dedication to training. Vincent Massey occasionally runs open gyms in the mornings and Robinson can often be found there. He also signed up to train at the Brandon University academy during the year.
While some may find early-morning workouts a grind, Robinson has an entirely different view on them.
"I love playing, so it’s not really punishment to get up and do that stuff," he said.
Robinson also tries to learn as much as he can which, combined with his work ethic, could lead to a bright future for him.
"For any of the guys on our team, if you work hard then the sky’s the limit," Friesen said.
"Obviously there’s an intangible there that you can’t teach kids, but you work hard and the sky’s the limit."
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition May 6, 2014