You might say there was a spike of interest when Ian Higginbottom took over the junior boys volleyball program at Banff Community High School; 22 of 24 boys in Grade 7 eagerly signed up.
“My focus with Grade 7 volleyball was to get it started right away,” said Higginbottom. “Students come over from the elementary school kind of nervous. Volleyball is the first sport of the year and it’s a good way to get them pumped up.”
The junior math teacher has lived in Banff his entire life and is going into his fourth year at the high school. Encouraging students to get involved and inspiring them through high
school sports is “an awesome opportunity.”
“At that age, they’re different students from the beginning of the year to the end, both physically and mentally,” he said. “There’s a few students who I’ve seen really change their high school lives. They weren’t your typical athletes and just being involved in sport has given them a sense of confidence. It’s given them a peer group that’s supportive.”
Higginbottom hopes the boys will continue their active high school career and move on to the senior boys rugby team, which he also coaches. He also volunteers his time to help out with the school’s cross-country running team.
He is a valued member of the staff for not just encouraging his own students, but for being a role model to the entire student body.