Isleworth’s Javier Bello keeps Youth Commonwealth Games in sight after financial boost

Isleworth volleyball star Javier Bello believes his chances of success at this year’s Youth Commonwealth Games have been given a major boost after being selected as part of a prestigious sporting partnership.

Picked out as a potential star of the future, 16-year-old Bello is one of 50 athletes chosen to receive financial assistance and mentoring from the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) in partnership with SportsAid.

Richmond Volleyball Club’s Bello is fortunate to compete alongside twin brother Joaquin in both volleyball and beach volleyball, with the two looking to make their mark in the Youth Commonwealth Games in Bahamas in June.

That particular competition could also see them follow on from a breakthrough 2016, with a historic first place at the Northern European Volleyball Zonal Association (NEZVA) U17 tournament in July, while also starring in the 2016 CEV U18 Beach Volleyball European Championship.

“We have the Youth Commonwealth Games in a few months and possibly other competitions in Europe, so it’s exciting,” said the Gunnersbury School student.

“We’ve had family who have played professionally for Spain, and I was about six when I started playing for a club.

“It’s been a slow progression for Joaquin and I, but a lot of progress was made last season playing for England for the first time when we got a gold medal in the Championships which was great.

“It was a huge step for us, the first time an English team had done that and a hugely proud moment for us.

“The Youth Commonwealth Games is probably the biggest competition that we’re looking forward to this year. We also have the Under-18 European Championships in Kazan, Russia, playing against some of the best teams in Europe and something we’re really excited for.”

Bello’s cause will be now helped by the support she will receive from RBC and SportsAid with an annual £1,000 award contributing to costs such as travel, accommodation and equipment.

This year’s RBC athletes stretch across 31 disabled and non-disabled disciplines with the individuals having been nominated to SportsAid by their sport’s national governing bodies.

And with volleyball having its level of funding cut in the country, there is hardly a more pertinent time for Bello to be benefitting from RBC and SportsAid’s influence.

That’s something he hopes can benefit him both on and off the court, allowing them to focus solely on volleyball as opposed to the ins and outings of getting themselves to competition.

“We want to keep pushing, keep working hard so that one day we can do that at senior level,” he continued.

“Volleyball is not the biggest sport and it’s suffered a lot of cuts in its funding, but knowing that SportsAid and Royal Bank of Canada is there to support me, choosing me to represent them as their athlete is great.

“It’s great to have SportsAid’s support, it’s given me a lot of confidence to keep pushing myself and believing in my potential to succeed in the future.

“It’s great that they’re helping a lot of young athletes. It’s really going to help with costs and there are a lot of exciting prospects this season.”

Royal Bank of Canada, one of the largest banks in the world and Canada’s largest bank by market capitalization, partners with SportsAid to provide financial support, ongoing mentoring and deserved recognition to 50 young talented British athletes looking to fulfil their sporting ambitions.

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