The Locker Room with Heather Bansley

Friday, January 29, 2016

This month The Locker Room welcomes Beach Volleyball player Heather Bansley.

Heather Bansley began her competitive volleyball career as a member of the University of Toronto’s Varsity Women’s Volleyball Team where she flourished on the court. Heather was a five-time OUA All-Star, a two-time CIS All-Canadian, OUA Player of the year, and led the country in kills, aces and points-per-set.

Heather began transitioning to beach volleyball in 2008, and after graduating in 2010 she started competing full-time on the Senior FIVB International Beach Volleyball World Tour. Her success on the beach, with then partner Liz Maloney, led the pair to earn a women’s team birth for Canada at the 2012 London Olympic Games, but Heather and Liz were unable to qualify for the Games after losing at the Canadian Olympic Trials.

Partnered with Sarah Pavan since 2013, Heather has continued to dominate on the beach both in Canada and in international competition. Heather and Sarah are currently ranked 4th internationally after a breakout season in 2015. The the duo earned their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour medal at the beginning of the season at the Prague Open, finishing 2nd. Weeks later it was followed by Canada’s first ever FIVB Major Series medal for women at the Porec, Croatia Major. More success followed. Heather and Sarah finished 5th at the World Championships in The Netherlands, the highest finish by a Canadian women’s team, and earned two additional bronze medal finishes at Major Series and Grand Slam events in Switzerland and Japan. The season ended with a 4th place finish at the FIVB World Tour Finals in Florida, and Heather was also named the Best Defensive Player for Women by the FIVB in 2015. The pair now look to prepare for the final push towards the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

The Locker Room recently caught up with Heather at Athlete Advance where she gave us some insight into the life of a beach volleyball athlete!

Learn more about Heather in The Locker Room.

Name: Heather Bansley
Age: 28
Sport: Beach Volleyball
Where do you live/train now: Toronto/Los Angeles
Team/Club: National Team
Twitter Handle: @HeatherBansley
Personal Website: pavanbansley.com

1. How did you get started in your sport?
I started playing beach volleyball as off-season training during my university career. I quickly fell in love with the game, and once I graduated from university I transitioned to the beach full time.

2. Who has had the biggest impact on your career in sport?
My university coach, Kristine Drakich. Kristine really encouraged me to play beach volleyball and try out for the national team. She also helped me develop my work ethic and bring daily intensity to training.

3. What is your favourite pre-competition meal?
Breakfast! Scrambled eggs, yogurt, granola and coffee.

4. Do you have any superstitions?
I have lucky bathing suits and unlucky ones.

5. Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m a really good cook.

6. What was the last book you read?
Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson

7. What is your favourite competition city?
Porec, Croatia

8. What exercise do you dread the most?
Conditioning!

9. What was the last picture you took on your phone?
The view from my condo balcony of the city’s skyline.

10. Who would play you in a movie of your life?
Leelee Sobieski

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