WEST COAST BEACH VOLLEYBALL SOCIETY PROUDLY PRESENTS
Saturday, November 3rd - 5pm-12am
Play with the Pros + Silent Auction
Friday, November 2nd - 12pm-5pm
Learn from the Pros Corporate Challenge + Team Building
Friday, November 2nd - 7pm-11pm
Party with the Pros
Thurs, Nov 1st - Sun, Nov 11th
Saturday, November 3rd - 5pm-12am
Know Your Pros - Athlete Bios
Ben Saxton, a 2016 Rio Olympian, was born and raised in Calgary, AB, but now resides in Vancouver, BC when not training in California and playing on the FIVB World Tour. Volleyball has been a prominent part of his whole life. He has experienced every stage of the development of a successful beach volleyball player and program. As a member of Canadian National Beach Volleyball Team since 2008, he saw the team at that time not qualify a single Beach Volleyball team to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. But, he also got to be a part of the team Canada qualified the maximum of 4 teams to the 2016 Rio Olympics. Ben has a gold, silver and 4 bronze medals on the FIVB World Tour and took 5th at the 2017 World Championships and 4th at the 2017 World Tour Finals. In 2018, he and partner Grant O'Gorman have amassed 6 top 10 finishes.
Commonly known as "Binner", Josh is a two-time Olympian beach volleyball player in both the 2012 London Olympics in London and the 2016 Rio Olympics. He also competed for Canada in volleyball at the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel, the 2013 Maccabiah Games (at which he was Canada's flag-bearer, and won a silver medal), and the 2017 Maccabiah Games (at which he won a gold medal). In 2014, he and his partner were Canadian national champions, his third national championship. Josh has stood atop the FIVB podium for 3 Silvers and 1 Gold, and brought home 9th at the 2015 World Championships.
Josh started playing volleyball at age 17, after being a talented multi-sport athlete in hockey and baseball. He became a member of the national junior indoor volleyball team and began competing on the beach circuit during his off-season from the University of Toronto when he was 2. He likes that the beach game is more difficult to be successful in and more cognitive
Josh earned his Doctorate of Chiropractic at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 2009 and enjoys reading books and listening to podcasts about how to broaden consciousness and the power of the mind.
Josh's favourite motto: “For me winning isn’t something that happens on the court when the whistle blows and the crowd roars. Winning is something that builds physically and mentally when you train everyday and dream every night.”
Sarah wanted to compete for Team Canada since she was old enough to understand what the word “Olympics” meant and at 16 she was the youngest woman ever selected for the Canadian national indoor volleyball team. She played collegiately at the University of Nebraska, becoming a four-time first team All-American, winning the NCAA title in 2006, and being awarded the Honda Cup as Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year in 2007. Just recently her jersey was retired at her alma mater and she remains the all-time kills leader in program history. Sarah went on to play indoor professionally for 10 years around the world, including Italy, Brazil, Korea and China, and She was a two-time Superliga champion with Unilever Rio de Janeiro.
While continuing her indoor career, in 2013 she started playing beach volleyball and not only realized a lifelong dream of representing Canada at the Olympics but brought home an incredible 5th place finish at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Sarah is one of the few athletes in the world who has played both indoor and beach volleyball at the highest level. On the FIVB Beach World Tour, she has amassed 3 Golds, 5 Silvers and 4 bronze as well as numerous top 10 finishes.
Favourite quotes include: “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” / “Be a king in your mind, but do the work of a servant.”
Sarah is striving for Gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and we are incredibly honoured she is joining us at our Play with the Pros Edition 3 fundraiser tournament!
Jamie Hatch (Broder)
Amongst her hometown hero accolades, Jamie not only became a 2016 Rio Olympian during the toughest qualification cycle yet, but she and her partner also made history in April 2015 when they became the first Canadian women ever to win an FIVB World Tour medal, taking gold at the season-opening Fuzhou Open in China. They advanced to the final by triumphing over three-time Olympic gold medallist Kerri Walsh and her Olympic silver medallist partner April Ross of the United States.
Jamie hails from Vancouver Island and played libero at UBC she helped UBC win their first CIS league championship in 30 years. She won the honour of becoming CIS championship tournament all-star, and her team's victory that year kicked off a six-championship winning streak for UBC in the CIS.
Now that she calls BC home again, she took no time continuing her streak of excellence at the 2018 Vancouver Open where she and her partner, Denise Wooding (also a PwtP Pro) took the top prize by outplaying a tough opponent in AVP qualifier team of Spieler/Hartong.
Outside of volleyball, Jamie is involved with speaking engagements for kids via Head to Head, as well as enjoys outdoor activities such as hiking, running and snowboarding. Nicknames incldue Brodes and J-Bro.
Favourite quote: “And though she be but little, she is fierce.” – William Shakespeare
Originally hailing from Ontario, Grant recently made Vancouver his adoped hometown after teaming with Ben Saxton for a run at Tokyo 2020. Talented and skilled beyond his years, Grant has been excelling on the court for many years and once you see him play you can quickly come to appreciate why his York University team described him as "A mentally tough player who is also versatile and can play both libero and outside hitter."
Grant finished 4th at the FISU beach volleyball championships in Mexico in 2012, and earlier won a bronze medal at the 2011 under-19 FIVB world junior beach championships. He was the recipient of the OVA’s 2011 Jason Senechal Memorial Award, which is presented to the youth beach athlete that best demonstrates the qualities of honour, fair play and sportsmanship and going further back in the archives, he was the starting libero for the Crush volleyball club that won the provincial and national titles in 2011.
As a professional beach athlete, Grant was a pivotal part of the team that got Canada another berth into the 2016 Rio Olympics, and since then has been pressing and pushing every team he plays on tour. He and partner Ben Saxton won gold at their first tournament together last November, and through the 2018 season have put together 6 top 10 finishes.
When in Van, Grant can often be found coaching and sharing his knowledge at Kits Beach, hiking our lovely peaks, and also happens to have a respectable Instagram game.
Joel Caschetto aka "in-control Joel" is an all-around athlete excelling at both indoor and beach volleyball as well as hockey and disc golf / frolf. After 4 awesome middle blocker years with the TRU Wolfpack, he went on to play pro in Sweden and Denmark. On the beach, he is student of the game and one of the top beach players in BC. Joel is a maven of music with over 10,000 organized songs which include everything from dubstep to jazz to Brittany Spears, and loves to laugh until he cries. Here's some insight he shared with us:
I am: Son, brother, Vancouverite, party animal
I play volleyball with/at: my friends and extended family on the Pacific northwest
I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: I like making friends
If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: Having short term memory loss can be a blessing
My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: Exercising or listening to music
Draw yourself doing this pastime: 🔊 🎶 👦🏽
The person who inspires me the most is: Bernie Sanders. He has Dedicated his life to making the world a better place for others. In a field dominated by lies (politics) he has deviated from the acceptable norm and maintained the utmost honesty and integrity
Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: My middle name is Carlos
Jonny is not only an extraordinary beach volleyball athlete, but also an outstanding coach, teammate and supporter / promoter of the game. He is the all-time money leader on the Kits Beach Volleyball Association leader board, and tied with his partner Matty for most wins on the KBVA (21). Have ball, will play! WeCoBeVo is excited to have Jonny back as a Pro this year!
Here's some insight he shared with us:
I am: A middle school teacher who loves playing and coaching both beach and indoor volleyball
I play volleyball with/at: Volleyball BC the KBVA and down in pro tournaments down in Washington and Oregon
I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: : I want to support WeCoBeVo and the local beach volleyball scene in Vancovuer
If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: how to embrace the beach bum lifestyle
My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: getting beat by wife at Squash, hiking and camping
The person who inspires me the most is: my wife, because she is the most focused/dedicated/hardest worker I know
Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: He has taught home/ec at middle school in recent years.
Better known as just "Gandy", he's a force to be reckoned with at the net! A picture says a thousand words but his will easily tell you why you want this guy on your Play with the Pros team (did someone say 7'2" wing span?!). Ryan is a man of many talents on and off the court, but at the beach he will surprise you with his agility and stamina given how much body he is fueling! Gandy has also been known to take a young guy or two on the beach and mentor and encourage them in the game. He took some time to share a few things about himself:
I am: the director of software development and operations at a Vancouver based software company that specializes in big data analytics. This helps support a 20-year-old volleyball addiction.
I play volleyball with/at: David Beleznay at Kits Beach.
I want to participate in Play with the Pros because: : it's going to be awesome and WeCoBeVo is something worth supporting.
If I could teach one thing about volleyball it would be: how to control the state of your own mind.
My favourite pass time besides volleyball is: anything involving wind and waves.
The person who inspires me the most is: Bernie Sanders, because he does what is right, not what is popular.
Something most people don't know about me, but I am willing to reveal and amaze and / or entertain people: I was born in South Africa, speak four languages and could drive stick shift in heavy traffic before the age of ten.