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Allen Khumalo, Sports Reporter
A three-day Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee (ZNPC) sitting volleyball coaching course started at Townsend Girls’ High School in Bulawayo yesterday.
ZNPC vice-president Orita Mubika said the coaching course is an international programme with facilitators coming from Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa.
“This is a sport not as popular compared to volleyball that people are used to, therefore the committee saw it fit to educate people about paralympic volleyball.
“We invite anyone interested in knowing about it or even those that want to coach to come and attend the course. The sport is not yet included in the National Paralympic Games, but in future we will introduce it,” said Mubika.
Sitting volleyball, sometimes known as paralympic volleyball, is a form of volleyball for athletes with disabilities that was introduced to the Paralympic Games as a demonstration sport for athletes with amputations.
It was introduced to the world at the Arnhem 1980 Paralympic Games. It requires a smaller court (10m x 6m) and a lower net, and the game is considerably faster than standing volleyball.
The sport is played in a best-of-five set format, and the first to reach 25 points (with at least a 2-point lead) wins the game. Teams consist of mixed classes in male and female events, with six on the court at a time. At all times, an athletes’ pelvis must be touching the ground, and service blocks are allowed.
Meanwhile, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) will hold the 2017 edition of the National Paralympics games in Bindura from April 7-11, with all provinces expected to attend.
SRC spokesperson Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said this year’s edition marks a decade of staging these games, which are meant to create opportunities for people living with disabilities to access sport and recreational activities of their choice. Athletics for the visually impaired and amputees will be held at Chipadze High School, wheelchair basketball will be played at Chipindura High School, while Five-a-side football for the intellectually challenged will be at Herman Gmeiner. Eleven-a-side football for the hearing impaired will be played at Chipadze Stadium, while wheelchair tennis will be played at Bindura Primary School.