Sitting volleyball holding court in Edmonton
The national women’s sitting volleyball team recently held a selection camp in Edmonton, as Team Canada prepares for the world championship this summer in the Netherlands.
“We are looking for athletes with a sport background and a volleyball background specifically, but it is difficult to find athletes that do qualify for our sport,” head coach Nicole Ban said.
On the international level, many sitting volleyball players are amputees. Edmonton’s Heidi Peters lost her leg to cancer at the age of 16. She’s been with the program going on five years now and can’t believe growth in the program over that time.
“We used to do just basic passing drills when I started,” Peters said. “Now the level of competition against other teams is unheard of from when I started.”
Calgary’s Jenn Oakes was in a serious boating accident in July 2015 and her right leg was amputated below the knee. Incredibly, she made it to the Brazil Paralympics just 14 months later. Being part of the team has helped her both on and off the court.
“It’s been huge for my mental and physical rehabilitation and I think it’s gotten me a lot of opportunities, which is amazing,” she said.
The 2018 World ParaVolley Championship takes place July 15 – 22 in the Netherlands.
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