Labrador team almost didn't make it to 2014 Winter Games
A volleyball team from Labrador almost didn't make it to the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Clarenville.
The team from North West River was pulling ahead in its qualifying matches in Labrador, but it was disqualified from the games because it didn't have the required number of players.
Nine people were required to make up the team, but North West River only has seven.
"This is the only seven people who play volleyball in our school — other than a few high school students who are too old to compete," said Mckenzie Hutchings, from Team Labrador.
The team says the disqualification from the games was devastating.
"A lot of emotions went into that — it was so, so sad," said teammate Kelly Butt.
The team coach then appealed to the Newfoundland and Labrador Volleyball Association (NLVA) and Sport NL, and explained their small-town situation.
NLVA official Randy Manning said it's a move that could change the rules for future teams.
"Especially in areas where you can't draw on other players from your region. [There would] have to be an exception — a lot of schools can't field a full team anymore," he said.
Team Labrador coach Des Montague said numbers may be low, but their spirits are high.
"This is just the kid's reward for all their hard work this year," he said.
"I know we're by far the smallest school that's represented here, and facing some tough competition. But it's good experience for the kids."
The team members were excited to be able to take part in the games.
"If we win or lose, we still got to come here," said Butt.
"That's mostly what's important — that we actually got to come to the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games."