One of 2020’s major themes was providing new options for persons with disabilities to get involved in volleyball!
We’re really glad to report on the success of a trial of a new initiative. Read on for more.
What is Sitting Volleyball?
Sitting Volleyball is perhaps the most widely known form of ParaVolley, thanks to its inclusion in the Paralympic Games since 1980. Sitting volleyball is a sport for all, including disabled athletes.
Sitting volleyball features many of the rules of standing volleyball. The most significant difference is the smaller court, lower net and movement around the court in a seated position.
Played by over 10,000 athletes in more than 75 countries worldwide, sitting volleyball is a truly global game that anyone can play. It’s enjoyable and a lot of laughs.
Successful Pilot of Sitting Volleyball in WA
Five pilot sessions of sitting volleyball were run in late 2020 with the generous support of APM. The events were well attended, and included several high-performance para-athletes from swimming and wheelchair basketball, alongside Brad Barclay, one of our national standing beach volleyball athletes from the South West.
Locations around the State were involved in the pilot, including Loftus Recreation Centre, Cockburn ARC, Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre, Mike Barnett Sports Centre in Rockingham and Kwinana Requatic. The sessions were really well received and many participants and their carers have asked us to continue running sessions in 2021.
CEO of Volleyball WA, Robyn Kuhl, remarked on the launch:
“We are very happy to get Sitting Volleyball up and running in WA this year. It has been one of our strategic priorities to provide opportunities for people with disabilities to participate in our sport, and this kind of initiative reinforces the Association’s values of inclusivity and accessibility. Over the longer term, we hope to create a pathway for persons with disabilities from participation right through to the paralympics in Sitting Volleyball.”
Plans for More Sitting Volleyball in 2021
Volleyball WA have plans for a follow-up to the pilot in early 2021. In partnership with Reclink WA and APM, a sitting volleyball program has been planned for Term 1 and Term 2 2021 in Rockingham. This will be run in conjunction with the Reclink Flames basketball program. We are exploring various grant funding opportunities to reduce the barriers for participants to participate in the program.
Thanks for Support from APM and Reclink WA
It’s also important to acknowledge Volleyball Australia’s launch of an innovative new freestanding net. Intended for primary school programs, this piece of equipment can also be used as a portable Sitting Volleyball net and has been instrumental to be able to run sessions around WA in 2020.
To advance the program in 2021, APM has sponsored a regulation size sitting volleyball net which we hope to start using this year.