Plenty of British Sitting Volleyball Interest in Rio 2016
9th September 2016
The Sitting Volleyball competition is under way in Rio, and whilst there aren’t GB teams competing, there's plenty to get excited about. Our top referee is officiating at the games, a number of former sitting volleyball athletes are competing in other sports and a current GB captain is part of the Channel 4 reporting team!
Glynn Archibald has refereed over 100 international sitting volleyball as well as hundreds of domestic matches for both indoor and sitting volleyball. As one of two British officials at London 2012, he refereed the men’s bronze medal match and a women’s semi-final. He’s now out in Rio ready to officiate the very best players in the world.
Former GB Women’s captain, Emma Wiggs, switched to Canoe Sprint after London 2012 and has had incredible success, securing 5 world championship gold medals since 2013. In Rio she goes in the KL2 event which has heats and semi-finals on Wednesday 14th September followed by the final on Thursday 15th.
Julie Rogers was the youngest member of the GB Team at London 2012. After the Games she began sprinting and has competed in international Junior and Senior events in the T42 100m events. Still only 17, she goes to Rio as the 5th fastest in the world and will be looking to challenge for medals as she continues to develop as a world class athlete. The heats and final all take place on Saturday 17th September.
There are two other T42 sprinters who have sitting volleyball experience. Richard Whitehead played for Great Britain in the 2007 European Championships, making his debut alongside current GB captain, Rob Richardson. Since then he has gone on to dominate in athletics. He holds the world record for an amputee in the Marathon (2 hrs, 42 mins) and half marathon (1 hr, 14 mins) as well as winning Gold in the 200m at London 2012, again in record breaking time! David Henson was a member of the 2014 Invictus Games sitting volleyball team that won gold at the event. He also played in the Volleyball England Grand Prix for Help 4 Heroes. He now focuses on athletics and will line up in Rio against Richard in both the 100m (heats: Wednesday 14th, final Thursday 15th) and 200m (heats Saturday 10th, final Sunday 11th).
Another former Grand Prix player is Aled Davies. He played for Celtic Dragons in the competition whilst also training for athletics. He has gone on to have huge success, competing at London 2012 where he won a Gold in the F42 Discuss and a bronze in the F42 Shot Put. In Rio he will go in the Shot Put competition on Monday 12th.
Whilst you’re watching the sport, you might see current GB women’s captain, Martine Wright who is part of the channel 4 team presenting at the games. We’ve already seen her featuring during the opening ceremony coverage and look forward to hearing more of her insight as the events continue.
From everyone at Volleyball England and the Great Britain Sitting Volleyball Programme, we want to wish good luck to everyone at Rio 2016, whether you’re competing, officiating or reporting!
Photo courtesy of jasonkeeping.com