He is already one of the best in the nation, but Jim Bell will be getting even more training before he sets foot on the UBC Okanagan gymnasium floor.
The incoming middle blocker for the Heat is getting some world-class experience with the national junior volleyball team after being selected as one of the top under-19 players in the country.
“I was really honoured to be selected to this team,” says Bell. “It was an amazing feeling to be recognized as one of the top players in the country, and to be selected to represent Canada.”
Bell (6-foot-6, Surrey-Earl Marriott Secondary), is using his time with the national squad to soak up all of the instruction he can and he will bring that training and instruction to his freshman year with the Heat this fall.
“The overall training level is awesome and great to be a part of,” says Bell.
“Right from the start, everyone pushed each other to be better. It was a great environment with these positive rivalries which everyone benefited from. The experience I have gained here will help me for the rest of my career.
“Playing on this team will also be of huge benefit to me for my CIS career. Going into my first year at UBCO, there will be a pretty big gap to fill in my game,” explains Bell, “and playing with the Junior National team will really help me bridge that.”
After watching the Olympics and having athletes representing their country on display earlier this month, Bell is excited about playing for the Maple Leaf and hopes to have more opportunities in the future.
“Being part of the national team is every athlete’s dream. Putting on the Red and White and representing our nation is the highest honour,” says Bell with obvious pride in his voice. “Continuing on with the national team in the future will be a goal of mine after this summer.”
Bell and his national teammates trained at the Centre Sportif de Gatineau, in Gatineau, Que., beginning July 23.
The team is now in Colorado Springs, Colorado for the Junior Norceca Championship through Sept. 2.