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Dublin High Lady Gaels Experience the Thrill of Paralympic Sitting Volleyball

October 6, 2010

by Andrea Ramirez

On Friday September 10, 2010 Dublin High School’s Varsity Volleyball Team had the chance of a lifetime. Elliot Blake, USA Olympic Sitting Volleyball Coordinator/Coach, came to teach Dublin High School’s able-bodied girls to play the sport they love, but with the twist of sitting on the floor.

The Varsity players began practice by learning how to move across the floor. The girls quickly realized how difficult of a challenge sitting volleyball was really going to be. While the concepts are the same in both sitting volleyball and traditional volleyball, the court is smaller, the net lower and the game much more taxing.  Coach Blake ran the practice, critiqued performance and offered tips that are often heard during a DHS volleyball practice.

After practicing the key skills required for sitting volleyball, the girls were eager to play.  Even though a six on six scrimmage is old news to these DHS players, it didn’t take long for the girls to see just how difficult sitting volleyball is to play.  While the Varsity Team had learned how to perform the skills and moving strategies during practice, desperation to keep the ball up during play erased all memories of earlier competence.  The hardest rule for the girls to follow was that a player’s behind must completely touch the floor when the girl is in contact with the ball.

After playing, the girls watched a video of the USA Sitting Volleyball Team and heard stories of how USA team members had lost limbs or become involved with the sport.  Everyone in the gym was impressed while watching these athletes move across the floor with grace, skill and agility.  The girls were also surprised to hear that sitting volleyball is very popular in Europe.  Of the 5,000 participants across the EU, over half are able-bodied!  From this amazing experience, the Lady Gaels Volleyball Team now has a new appreciation of Paralympics as well as sitting volleyball.

The Lady Gaels are proud to have a sitting volleyball player on the team this year.  Dublin High senior Bethany Zummo has been training with the US Paralympic Team for two years, spending her summers playing with the team in Oklahoma.  Bethany has her sights set on the Paralympics to be held in London, 2012.  Thank you Bethany for bringing Coach Elliot Blake and this inspiring experience to Dublin High.

[UPDATE 4-22-2011: Bethany Zummo was recently profiled by Dublin Patch – read more…]

Dublin High School - Varsity Volleyball Team

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One Comment
  1. abbas permalink
    March 20, 2011 11:19 am

    Hi,

    I am Abbas Parvareshkhah and I play for the Iran National Sitting Volleyball team. I have been involved in World Cup Sitting Volleyball. I have taken a gold medal there. I am one of the best player in Iran and world. I wanted to be able to come and continue my sport in your country because in our country I don’t get enough respect and can’t improve because of being in a certain part of the country. I would really appreciate if you give me the opportunity of being able to come and play for your country and try to improve myself and your team. It would be really nice of you if you could reply and let me know if i have a chance of improving myself and your team in your country and in your club.

    Thank you,
    Abbas Parvareshkhah

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