Couple both heavily involved in Mountain Volleyball Club
By Debra Downey
Ancaster News (July 12, 2017)
Two longtime advocates for the sport of volleyball in Hamilton have received one of the provincial association’s highest honours.
Nancy Castura and Jos Nederveen were recently presented with the prestigious Paul and Shelley Brownstein Builder Award from the Ontario Volleyball Association.
The award honours the couple for their contributions in the areas of education, recreation and development of volleyball in the city.
“Jos and I are very humbled to be recognized, especially when you consider who the Brownsteins are,” said Castura. “They were such huge builders in the sport of volleyball in Ontario, Canada and beyond.”
The Brownsteins initiated and operated a popular volleyball camp near Bancroft for more than 30 years.
Their vision for Camp Madawaska was to instil in everyone the passion to play or coach, regardless of skill level, and to do so while fully immersed in a summer camp experience.
“When I think of Paul and Shelley Brownstein, I think of two people who not only influenced innumerable coaches and athletes in the sport of volleyball, but as a partnership that impacted and advocated for the sport at all levels — in schools, communities, through provincial and national organizations — and done with integrity and a burning faith in the development of people,” Castura stated as part of the couple’s acceptance speech.
Like the Brownsteins, Castura and Nederveen have brought their own successful family/volleyball partnership to thousands of young athletes in the city.
A native of Hamilton, Castura began her administrative career in volleyball with a student placement at the Ontario Volleyball Association.
She worked there until 1987, before starting a family and later becoming a teacher.
During her time at St. Mary, Castura has developed volleyball programs at the west-end high school, club and recreational level. For 13 years, she has helped promote volleyball as an executive member and public relations officer for the Mountain Volleyball Club.
According to her nominators, Castura is an “indispensable part” of the organization who also assists in putting together up to 10 tournaments a year; 65 in the last nine years.
Nederveen, meanwhile, began his club coaching career in 1981 with the Scarborough Solars when he was a graduate student at York University. Since then, his experience has included Hamilton Slovenia, Hamilton One Way, Bronte Beach, Waterdown Raiders and the Mountain Athletic Club, which evolved into the Mountain Volleyball Club.
Now entering its 12th season, the club was founded by Nederveen and Denis Levesque to promote the sport of volleyball and provide an opportunity for female athletes to develop their skill level through participation in a positive, competitive volleyball environment.
Coaches use a variety of techniques to promote skills development. With novice players, the emphasis is on introducing volleyball in an environment promoting fun and physical play. With elite athletes, the focus is on skills development.
Throughout a 35-year high school teaching/coaching career, Nederveen has been an integral part of the development of both male and female athletes. Five years ago, before retiring in 2015, he captured his 20th high school championship. He has coached numerous teams and athletes to Division 1 medal performances at provincial and national competitions.
Nederveen’s most recent project in athlete development is the St. Mary Volleyball Program, a multi-level introduction to coaching for female athletes ages 12 to 17. He has also helped initiate VolleyTotz, a developmental program for kindergarten age athletes that combines volleyball with other coordination activities.
“Jos is a phenomenal teacher, and his love is truly the development stuff, getting kids excited about volleyball,” said Castura. “I tend to focus more on the promotional side, sharing good stories about athletes and coaches.”
And like the Brownsteins before them, there is not a leader and follower in the couple’s efforts.
“We both enjoy doing it with each other,” said Castura. “It is not one behind the other, we do it side by side. We are doing something that we truly love to do together.”
The two longtime Dundas residents both graduated from McMaster University with bachelors of physical education degrees. The couple have three children — Joshua, Meagan and Mikaila, who have all earned Ontario University Athletics citations and are kinesiology B.Sc grads from McMaster.