Sitting Volleyball to Make Debut Appearance During BT Paralympic World Cup

The Great Britain men’s Sitting Volleyball team will be making their debut at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester next month, ahead of the European Championships in Rotterdam in October.

The team will be taking on The Netherlands in an International Match staged during the annual elite disability sporting event.

The team, who have not competed at a Paralympic Games before, will be looking to make an impression in front of a home crowd as they look upon the event as vital preparation to qualify for their first Games next year in London, as well as in establishing themselves on the international scene. As the squad await endorsement for London 2012, every tournament and match is crucial to their progress.

Richard Callicott, President of the British Volleyball Federation and Volleyball England, said, “We are delighted that Sitting Volleyball is to be included in the 2011 BT Paralympic World Cup; our sport has grown significantly in the past couple of years and we look forward to showcasing our exciting sport to a much wider audience.”

Team captain Robert Richardson, said, “Sitting Volleyball is an action-packed game full of skill, strength and agility. It is a fantastic game to watch and it’s a great opportunity for us to show what the team do ahead of London 2012. We have a young squad who are all relatively new to the game but have made huge strides over the last 18 months; we hope to show this to everyone in Manchester attending the Paralympic World Cup.”

Charlie Walker, a double amputee on the team who contracted Meningitis whilst training with the bomb disposal unit in the British Army, first tried Sitting Volleyball in 2009 and has since become an integral part of the team.

Walker said, “I went to the BT Paralympic World Cup as a spectator a few years ago and it was a great experience. The crowds were fantastic and the exposure will be great for Sitting Volleyball. Our games against The Netherlands are always close so it should be a really exciting match for the spectators too.”

The GB Team will be selected from the following players and their teams:

Netra Rana                               Battleback

Justin Phillips                           Surrey Gators

Sam Scott                                 F.D.S.W. Celtic Dragons

John Worrall                            East London Lynx

Ivan Cosic                               East London Lynx

Asghar Nasimi                         East London Lynx

Robert Richardson                   Surrey Gators

Anton Raimondo                     East London Lynx

Richard Dobell                        Surrey Gators

Charlie Walker                         Surrey Gators

James Roberts                          F.D.S.W. Celtic Dragons

Ben Hall                                  Surrey Gators

John Munro                             East London Lynx

Muzaffar Jabber                      East London Lynx

The BT Paralympic World Cup is the largest annual international multi-sport competition in elite disability sport. BT is entering its third year as title sponsor, in a sponsorship which runs up to and includes the 2012 BT Paralympic World Cup.

Manchester has committed for the seventh consecutive year to hosting elite international athletes competing across Wheelchair Basketball, Athletics and Swimming. In addition, Boccia and Sitting Volleyball will be represented for the first time, with international matches staged during the competition.

The 2011 BT Paralympic World Cup will receive unprecedented television coverage, with Channel 4 committing to a two hour live programme on 28 May, as well daily highlights packages on 26 and 27 May. Live daily streaming from each sport will also be broadcast on the Channel 4 website: www.channel4.com/paralympics.

The BT Paralympic World Cup is sanctioned by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) and supported by ParalympicsGB, BT and Manchester City Council.

Tickets for the BT Paralympic World Cup are now on sale. For more information visit:www.btparalympicworldcup.com

The event schedule will see the Manchester Regional Arena host Wheelchair Basketball on 23-26 May and Athletics on 27 May, with the Manchester Aquatics Centre hosting the Swimming competition on 27-28 May.

The Sitting Volleyball international match will be staged at the Regional Arena on 25 May and the Boccia match on 26 May.

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