List of Inductees 2019
Janis Kelly boasts a long list of accomplishments including being a former member of the RCMP Musical Ride and Canadian National Women’s Volleyball team. She played in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, the Pan American Games in Winnipeg and she can speak five languages.
As a girl who grew up in Winnipeg’s North End, Janis is an inspiration to other young people. Her volleyball career really began at the age of 14 at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg. In the 3 years of Junior High School at Cecil Rhodes, Janis explained that there was always a large number of girls who came out to volleyball try-outs and in practises that number became so low that it prevented their school’s participation in the championship. Despite the relatively late start, her physical education teacher Mrs. Joyal, said to her after observing her play, "One day you'll be a great volleyball player." That most certainly came true for Janis.
After her high school career, Janis was recruited to play for the Lady Wesmen at the University of Winnipeg under the direction of Doug Reimer. By the time she was 21, Janis had developed as a dominant university power hitter and in 1992 was invited to join the Canadian National Volleyball Team as a result. As a member of Team Canada for over 8 years, Janis gained valuable international experience by playing against strong European, Asian, and American teams. A highlight of her career with Team Canada was competing in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games as one of the starting power hitters. She was also a member of the Canadian team that won a bronze medal at the 1995 Pan American Games in Mar del Plata.
Well known in the volleyball world for her powerful attack, Janis was especially recognized for her spike serve - powerful, consistent, and very effective, even with the new volleyball rules that had been introduced. Janis began jump serving in 1992 thanks to the support and guidance of Canadian National Team coach Mike Burchuk. With time and practice, she perfected her rather unique service style, making it more efficient as well as difficult for the opposing team to return. She was recognized as one of the best servers in the world due to her powerful and effective jump serve.
Following the Atlanta Olympic Games, Janis embarked on her professional career. She played her first year of professional volleyball in the 1996-1997 season in Istanbul, Turkey. The next four years she played with several teams in the Italian Volleyball Championship League before joining a team in the French top league and then finished out her professional career in Italy in 2003. In the summer of 2002, Janis rejoined Team Canada which went on an adventure that would eventually lead to the World Championships in Germany. Starting with an exhibition tour with Japan at the end of May, the team competed in the Canada Cup in Winnipeg, the inaugural Pan American Cup in Tijuana, across Canada Tour with a Japanese club team and exhibition matches against the Dominican Republic and Czechoslovakia before eventually competing at the World Championships in Schwerin, Germany.
After her playing career was completed, Janis engaged in her second career as a member of the RCMP. As with sports, Constable Kelly has followed her heart with policing and although she originally joined to get involved in forensics, she realized she truly enjoys the RCMP and helping in different ways. A highlight of her policing career has been riding as a member of the RCMP Musical Ride.
In 2012 Janis was inducted into the Volleyball Manitoba Hall of Fame. We are honoured today to induct Janis Kelly as an athlete in the Volleyball Canada Hall of Fame; she is most certainly deserving of this recognition for her many years competing for Canada and for her outstanding international career.