As April marked the 40th anniversary of World ParaVolley, students at The Ruth Gorse Academy honoured the celebration by taking part in sitting volleyball during PE lessons.
Sitting volleyball was first introduced at the Toronto 1976 Paralympics as a demonstration sport, and officially became part of the Paralympic programme in Arnhem, The Netherlands at the 1980 Games. Sitting volleyball is now a popular sport for athletes who are differently abled and is played in 75 countries worldwide.
Trust partner, Leeds Gorse Volleyball Club, was recently awarded new sitting volleyball and safety equipment from The Volleyball England Foundation. As volleyball is now permitted in PE, some lucky students were able to put the new equipment to good use! Students found the sport more challenging than it first appeared and walked away with a newfound respect and understanding for Paralympic sports and how sports can be adapted to be inclusive for all.
Before COVID-19 hit, The Gorse Volleyball Club and Leeds Club had plans to launch a sitting volleyball programme alongside the exiting volleyball programme. From September, students will be introduced to sitting volleyball in years 3 and 4 and will have opportunities to participate in sitting volleyball clubs through extra-curricular clubs and the Leeds Club.
Sitting volleyball can be played indoors or on the beach and can be modified based on abilities and skill levels. The postponed 2020 Tokyo final men’s sitting volleyball qualifying event for the Paralympic Games is scheduled to take place in Duisburg from June 1 to June 4, 2021. Be sure to watch online. For further information, please follow the Gorse Gets Healthy and Leeds Gorse Volleyball Club social media accounts.