Enrique Bello hoping to emulate big brothers on the international stage

·2-min read
Enrique Bello (far left) with fellow futures athletes and support staff during 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Enrique Bello is hoping to go into the family business and become an international beach volleyball superstar like his two big brothers, writes Tum Balogun. 

The 18-year-old watched on as older siblings Javier and Joaquin won Commonwealth Games bronze at Smithfield Market in Birmingham – and now wants a slice of the action himself.

The Richmond protege was one of over 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff given the opportunity to attend the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, watch live sporting action and take a first-hand look behind the scenes.

Javier and Joaquin, 21, are two of the country's brightest talents - themselves at the very start of their sporting journeys - and the younger Bello revealed his delight in seeing them compete for medals on the world stage, as he himself plots his route to the top.

“Seeing [my brother’s] playing in a packed stadium,” he said.

“I mean, even two days ago the session was sold out, just wow.

“I know their hard work more than anyone, I know how much they deserve it so being able to see that and sit in the stadium in the stands and being surrounded by thousands of people who came here to watch them - It's inspiring.

“It makes you really realise how beach volleyball is a relatively small sport in this country, but you can see how much it can grow.

“Sold out stadiums, I love the sport and it was really fun.”

Team England Futures seeks to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as either Team England, Team GB or ParalympicsGB debutants at future Games, while also giving support staff a first-hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as challenges they may face, at a multi-sport competition.

And having recently secured his second consecutive under-18 national crown with partner Peter Soczewka, Bello is on the verge of making the senior squads.

He said: “It’s a very Olympics vibe, the idea of not just playing your sport but the idea of being surrounded by all these different ones.

“It’s pretty cool because you get to learn from that as well.

“At the end of the day it's all quite similar with regards to some things so physical preparation, strength, conditioning, nutrition, all those things are similar for athletes.

“So being exposed to different backgrounds and stuff like that is quite useful in my own journey.”

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can find out more about the programme by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.