Sitting volleyball was first introduced as a demonstration in the 1976 Toronto Paralympics Games having originated in The Netherlands in 1956. Four years later, The Netherlands introduced it as a competitive sport and it has since gained popularity in over 60 countries worldwide including Australia.
As a version of the original 'standing’ volleyball, sitting volleyball is an energetic sport for people with or without physical disabilities. It is classified into two degrees of disabilities, disabled and minimum disability. The court is much smaller than the standing volleyball court measuring 6m x 10m with lowered nets – 1.15m for men and 1.05m for women.
In terms of disability sports, the Paralympic Games have to be regarded as the pinnacle of competition, with the achievement of being awarded a Paralympic medal the ultimate recognition and honour for a Paralympic athlete. But who are the most successful Paralympic athletes and countries?
Throughout the history of literature many authors have thought up characters based on their personal experiences or of others they have known, creating unique personalities that take on a life of their own. These eight books that deal with disability are examples of just that.
Tennis is one of the world’s most popular sports. Its adapted format differs mainly with specially designed wheelchairs (sometimes manual and sometimes powered), as well as the ball being allowed to bounce twice.
The size of the court, the equipment (racket and ball) are just the same as in their Olympic namesake, as are the rest of the rules. In fact, the four Grand Slams all host wheelchair tennis as part of their official competitions.
24 years ago, I was unlucky to be involved in a five-car road accident that left seven people injured, I being the most injured. It left me in shock initially since I did not know how much the accident had affected me. I was seated in the back seat when it all happened, and I thought, “Why not get out and give a hand to the others.” With my experience in the medical field from working as a Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Technician, I thought I could lend a helping hand. Summoning all my energy, I tried to get out of the car but I could not move. I felt a sharp pain through my chest and I blacked out, I can barely remember what happened thereafter. What I can recollect from the hours that followed is that the company I worked with were the first on the scene and we knew each other. Upon arrival at the hospital, I was in and out of it for a while but what I remember clearly as the light of day was when the doctor said that I would never walk again. I was diagnosed as a C6-C7 quadriplegic which meant that the 8 months that followed were going to be spent in hospital and in rehabilitation centres.