Terrace volleyball player Evan Veldman is spiking with Team BC in the Canada Summer Games next August.
Chosen with only 12 select players, Veldman set his way through two competitive tryouts earlier this year, and just learned last week he’d made the official team.
A Grade 12 student at Centennial Christian School, Veldman is a quiet, humble player with clear volleyball abilities who plays as a setter and outside hitter on the left side.
This will be his third year spiking with Team BC, and for the last two summers he played U16 and U17 with his friend and fellow Centennial player Lucas Mantel, who didn’t try out this year.
“We’re proud (of Evan),” said his dad Edgar Veldman, who is also the principal at Centennial Christian School.
“I think it’s a big honour to go to the Canada Summer Games. Many of Canada’s amateur athletes and Olympians start [there].”
The Grade 12 player is also planning to launch into varsity ball this fall, playhing at Kings University College in Edmonton.
Earlier this year, the Centennial Seahawks hosted provincials here in Terrace where the boys claimed silver. It was a battle for the team when Veldman, who was their captain and top player, severely sprained his ankle.
In early December, Veldman went to Kelowna for the first Team BC tryout, still smarting from his injury.
Edgar says the coaches knew Evan’s abilities from prior years, knew of his recent injury, and showed him a bit of compassion as he tried out for the U18 team which will represent BC at the Summer Games.
After that 60-player tryout, Veldman advanced to a smaller tryout in March where 15 players were selected for Team BC, three alternates who would train but not travel.
Just last week, Veldman learned he was chosen as one of the 12 players on the roster for summer games.
Team BC head coach Brad Hudson spoke highly of Veldman when asked why he chose the Grade 12 student for the team.
“He is gifted young man,” Hudson said. “He’s got a really live arm, so he scores the call well, and does a good job creating service pressure with his jump serve.”
Hudson added that his decision to pick Veldman for the team also factored in Veldman’s character.
“He’s clearly worked tremendously hard on his craft and he is driven to excel,” said Veldman.
“That said, he does so with a humility and selflessness that speak to what kind of a young man he really is. His consistency of character is exceptional.”
With Team BC, Veldman will train in Kelowna in early-July and then head to the USA Volleyball High Performance Championships where the team will compete with top-level U18 teams from across North America on July 18-22.
After that the team will train and head to Winnipeg to spike in the Canada Summer Games August 4-13.