When students have a desire to put in some extra time at the gym after volleyball practice, more than likely Masaki Yokota is there to help.
Yokota, 30, has lived in Banff his entire life and volleyball played a major role during his time at Banff Community High School. Yokota is giving back to the sport and the school by volunteering as an assistant coach for the senior boys team.
“From when we were kids (playing volleyball), we had problems trying to get coaches,” Yokota said. “Now that I’m grown up, I kind of see that there is a lot of work involved. If you have an opportunity to help out, then you might as well.”
Having helped coach players for the past five years, it’s a joy for Yokota to watch the students’ progression in sports and academics over the semesters. When he has the time, he makes himself available to students who want some extra practice or tutoring on a striking or passing technique.
“There used to be these two other monitor guys who would let me in the gym and I would play (volleyball and basketball),” said Yokota. “I’m that guy now, I guess, so it’s kind of funny how it all recycles … I like helping out the kids.”