WINNIPEG — A former Manitoba Bisons’ volleyball player is calling it a career.
Volleyball Canada announced the retirement of Toon van Lankvelt from the national team on Wednesday after 10 years with the program.
Van Lankvelt, 32, helped Canada qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, but wasn’t named to the final team that competed in Rio. He also earned a bronze medal at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
“I’ll always remember the bond shared with all of my teammates over the past 10 years with the program,” van Lankvelt said in a statement. “I’ve met many of my closest friends through the national team program and I’ll miss the day-to-day interaction with all of them.”
Van Lankvelt’s wife just gave birth to their child Kye earlier in the month.
“My entire family – especially my parents Annie and Jan van Lankvelt – have been my biggest supporters throughout my career, and made it possible for me to pursue the sport from a young age,” said van Lankvelt. “And most importantly, I would like to thank my wife Kristina who has made many sacrifices in order for me to pursue my dreams.”
When he wasn’t representing his country, van Lankvelt was playing professionally all over the world. After growing up in the small town of Rivers, Manitoba, the outside hitter’s pro career included stops in Greece, Belgium, Italy, France, Poland and Korea.
“Coming from a small farm town of 1000 people, I would have never guessed growing up that I would be able to see the world through volleyball while competing at the highest level,” said van Lankvelt.
Van Lankvelt played for the Bisons from 2002 through 2007, winning a national championship with the Herd in 2003.
“It took a lot of hard work and sacrifice and I’m thankful that these skills will allow me to be successful in my future endeavours,” van Lankvelt said.
WATCH: Toon van Lankvelt highlights with Manitoba Bisons
Brandon’s Dustin Schneider retired from the national team in the fall and with van Lankvelt also calling it quits it leaves just two Manitoban’s on Canada’s national men’s volleyball team. Winnipegger’s Justin Duff and Jason DeRocco are still with the national team as is former Bison TJ Sanders of London, ON.