Our Campus: Sean Sanderson is T-Bird volleyball’s man behind the mic

Though the biggest draw of athletics events is almost always the competing athletes, no game is quite the same without an engaging announcer. For UBC volleyball, Sean Sanderson is the man who keeps tabs on every match and entertains the crowd with jokes and hilarious commentary.

Sanderson has always been into sports, whether it be volleyball or hockey, and sports broadcasting was a natural complement to his athleticism. He studied broadcasting at the British Columbia Institute of Technology three years ago, and has continued announcing ever since.

Apart from UBC volleyball games and a short time with UBC soccer last year, he is also actively involved with beach volleyball tournaments around the region. Sanderson's first broadcasting experience was, fittingly, at a beach volleyball tournament in Kelowna, B.C. when his coach, who is also the current head coach of women's volleyball, Doug Reimer, handed him the microphone and gave him the chance that started it all.

“If I could, my dream would be doing play-by-plays for hockey … plays-by-plays for hockey in the wintertime and then do summers at the beach for volleyball. Any sort of work around sports is something I’d really like to do,” Sanderson said.

Many people say that having a referral is the best way to land a job. In Sanderson's case, this held true. A friend of his saw an urgent posting by the Head of Athletics and after a week of emailing back and forth, his time at UBC began. Throughout his time here, he has become friends with the team members and coaches as he also participates in the team practices.

Usually, men's and women's volleyball games are scheduled in a double header format. Before each roughly two-hour game, Sanderson runs through the roster for both teams making sure that his pronunciation of the names are correct with emphasis on the visiting team. He makes a mental note of the nicknames or requests that individual players may have. There's always the typical script that must be followed but after opening remarks, his character and charisma shine through. Sanderson shares the happiness of the team's winnings and as a volleyball coach himself, he is knowledgeable of the members' statistics and enjoys the sport as a whole.

CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) Volleyball -- the league in which UBC competes -- is the highest tier of volleyball in Canada.

"Volleyball needs one more fan. Football doesn't, but volleyball does," said Sanderson. "It's not the most popular sport in the world but if my jokes and enthusiasm bring them in, then that's a good thing for volleyball."

Both volleyball teams have now finished their regular seasons and will be moving on to the Canada West Quarter-Finals in hopes of continuing their CIS Champion streak. But if you stop by one of their games in the fall, you will be guaranteed an exciting and entertaining game from both the players and the announcer.