Lausanne, Switzerland, January 10, 2017 – Canadian Olympic beach volleyball player Heather Bansley has been sharing her experiences with children in her home country.
Thepeterboroughexaminer.com reported on Bansley’s visit to Crestwood Secondary School in Ontario where she shared stories of her success and gave tips and feedback to nearly 50 youngsters taking part in a two-day beach volleyball clinic.
Twins Sydney and Kaylie Ferguson, 14, were excited to meet an Olympian in their sport.
"It was really awesome to meet her and hear all her stories and what she gets to do as an Olympic volleyball player," Kaylie said.
The Cobourg Collegiate Institute students were happy when the Olympic athlete praised their work on court.
"It felt really cool and felt good inside to know that you're doing something good that she complimented you on," Sydney said.
Bansley told the students at the clinic to never give up.
The 29-year-old placed fifth in the Rio Olympics, and was twice named the best defensive player on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. She first represented Canada at the 2007 Junior World Championship.
When Bansley first started playing, she was often told she wasn't tall enough and was cut from some teams.
"She was always told she was too short, but that didn't stop her," said Kate Bemrose, a Grade 7 student at Adam Scott Intermediate School.
Andrew Hinchey, founder and head coach of Soul Beach Volleyball, said Bansley's triumphant tale was exactly what the kids needed to hear.
"They recognized that she's real and she's had those road blocks along the way, but through her perseverance she was able to make it happen; that was the best message that we were able to give to these kids," he said.