Evan Husack represents Winnipeg’s Deaf community on RRC’s men’s volleyball team
By Jake Maurice
Evan Husack has been a standout player for the Red River College’s Rebels men’s volleyball team this season. Husack is always stretching, jumping and diving to set or spike any ball hit into his area of the court — he does this all without hearing a thing.
“My entire life I’ve been deaf and faced barriers, however, I have learned to work through those when they arise,” said Husack.
He started playing volleyball in middle school, then began to lose interest in high school, occasionally playing in recreational leagues.
His interest was reignited when Winnipeg hosted the 2018 Canada Deaf Games.
Husack was one of 21 players who participated in the co-ed volleyball tournament. The competition consisted of four teams and Husack’s team lost a four-set match in the gold medal game.
After the Canada Deaf Games, Husack remembered why he loved to play volleyball.
“The fast-paced movement on the court, the teamwork, blocking the other team, and the feeling after an amazing kill.”
After a few more years playing volleyball, Husack transferred to Red River College to take the Social Innovation and Community Development program to develop and encourage Winnipeg’s Deaf community.
“When researching jobs online, I came across this program which seemed like a perfect fit for what I’m aspiring to do…I really like that Red River has a hands-on approach.”
Not long after beginning his education at RRC, Husack tried out for the volleyball team.
Husack said he’s thankful the college provides an interpreter at every practice and game making it easier to communicate with his team.
“Being the only deaf person on a hearing team, of course, it can be awkward for someone to figure out how to communicate with me,” he said.
He has developed ways to use gestures his teammates can quickly understand on the court, so they can react to his instructions. He will sometimes text his teammates on the sidelines to communicate while resting.
Husack said he’s thankful for the feedback he gets from head coach Chris Voth.
“I have an awesome team and coaches who treat me like anyone else, which has made my [Rebels] experience great,” he said. “I feel very fortunate I have never had to feel discriminated against because I am Deaf.”
Husack said the bond between him and his teammates shows on the court, with the team getting stronger every practice.
“We are already fixing mistakes we made at the beginning of the season and we are improving every game,” he said. I’m excited to see the progression.”
Throughout Husack’s career in volleyball, he has learned how valuable Winnipeg’s volleyball community.
“Volleyball has taught me teamwork, sportsmanship, and to be humble as a player. It teaches you to support one another; you can’t play the sport alone, [you] have to work together.”