Sitting volleyball will again star in the Invictus Games. The 2017 Games for wounded, injured and sick service personnel begins on Saturday (22 September) in Toronto. Over a week, the UK team will compete against 16 other nations, in 12 adaptive sports.
The sitting volleyball action takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday (26 and 27 September). The UK team, which is of mixed gender, has their first game on Tuesday at 2pm (GMT) against France and team coach Charlie Walker says the team are raring to go.
“The team and I are very excited about the Games,” says Charlie, who was played in the team at both the previous Invictus Games. “We just can’t wait to get started and show everyone the product of our hard work.”
The UK Sitting Volleyball (SV) team has a very good record, taking gold at the inaugural Invictus Games in London 2014 and silver last year in Orlando, and are hoping for a medal again this year.
“Our goal for the tournament is for everyone to perform to their best ability and enjoy the experience. It’s hard to judge our target with so many unknowns; with teams changing their line-ups and teams we’ve never seen before. I would hope we’re in the mix for a medal, with probably the USA, Georgia and the Netherlands.”
The Georgian team also brings a British interest to the Games, as they are coached by Richard Osborne. He is coach of South Hants Sitting Volleyball Club and his remarkable coaching journey saw him take up the unlikely post. Richard will be giving us a behind the scenes insight to sitting volleyball at the games with a column throughout the week.
Many British fans though will be hoping for a UK vs. USA final, as a ‘decider’ after the nations competed in the last two Invictus SV finals, winning one apiece.
There will be daily highlights from the Games on the BBC so you can catch some of the action. See the UK SV team’s schedule at the bottom of the page.
The Games are a great occasion and raising vital awareness about the lives of injured service personnel, as well as helping promote the sport.
“It’s great to see Sitting Volleyball as popular as it is at the Invictus Games,” says Charlie. “We’re up to 12 teams and is building year on year. Seeing people use the sport as part of rehabilitation will hopefully encourage more people to give it a go, both military personnel and civilians.”
UK SV team schedule:
Tuesday 26 September (all times GMT):
2pm UK vs. France
5.30pm UK vs. Afghanistan
6.50pm Potential quarter final
Wednesday 27 September (all times GMT):
10pm Potential semi-final
02.05am Potential final