The Zimbabwe Volleyball Association (ZVA) in partnership with the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports began a three day sitting volleyball course today in Harare.
By Carlo Chikomba
The course will run from the 9th (today) to the 11th of this month at the Danhiko Vocational Training Centre in Harare.
Speaking at a press conference held at the Cresta Oasis Hotel in the capital, ZVA Secretary General Tawanda Sithole said that the association was delighted to be involved in the sitting volleyball course.
“We are very happy to be involved in such an event (the sitting volleyball course) for the first time although it is our mandate as a sporting association to hold an all-inclusive event.”
“When we say all inclusive we mean that the event is open to everyone, both the able bodied and the disabled people can participate in it so it has no physical restrictions.”
Sitting volleyball is generally volleyball that is played while sitting down with the net put up at a height of one metre.
While all the other rules of volleyball apply, players are not allowed to stand and walk but instead have to use their hands to slide their bodies across the floor. The sport is played by both the disabled and non-disabled people.
The sitting volleyball coaching course is being facilitated by visiting Norwegian duo of Torbjorn Sollie Johannessen and Mirriam Jacobs.
And Johannessen said that he was happy with the turnout on the first day of training.
“The turnout has been great, the people that came through have been very positive and seemed to be enjoying themselves. We had about 20 people but we are hoping to have more people join us over the course of the event.”
The Norwegian facilitator also added that he hoped to connect people with and without disabilities together and form a sitting volleyball team that will be able to compete with other teams internationally.
“This is the first step so we are just generating awareness of the sport so that people know more about it and how it’s played and then we can go to the next step.”
“What we want to do is to create an environment where people with disabilities and people without (disabilities) can all come together and participate. We also hope to continue with the sport and maybe in the future we can have a Zimbabwean team that will challenge other countries.”
“Already in Africa we have countries like Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Mozambique and Namibia. But internationally we have the (sitting volleyball) World Cup. Here (in Zimbabwe) we are still in the first stages but with time we are hoping Zimbabwe can also compete with those teams on the international stage in the future.”