For volleyball coach Keith Lundgren, providing a well-rounded education is a top priority.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology women’s volleyball team will leave Dec. 17 for a 10-day sports competition and humanitarian trip to Brazil. The opportunity came only after the committed coach proved that teams who get to travel internationally improve their chances of winning.

However, for Lundgren, the trip is about more than just victories.

“The idea behind the whole trip was to make it a complete educational and athletic experience to tie in with post-secondary education,” Lundgren said.

For Lundgren, there are many benefits in an international travel opportunity. The players will get to experience volleyball at a whole different level, they will learn about the culture and language in Brazil, and, most importantly, they will learn life skills while experiencing a reality much different than North America’s.

“I think it’s going really to open up their eyes to how big the world and how different the world is,” Lundgren said.

In addition to participating in an international tournament and working with a Brazilian coach, the women will do humanitarian work when they host a sports camp for needy children.

“I know that’s a really important part of even what we do here in Edmonton,” Lundgren said of giving back to communities.

Ultimately, he sees the trip as a chance to create stronger individuals, which will in turn build a stronger team.

“The stronger that the team is emotionally, the stronger they are going to be against adversity.”