Can you help with the history of sitting volleyball?
6th February 2020
A message from sitting volleyball aficionado Ken Edwards, who is looking for your help in tracing the sport’s roots in England.
Volleyball for those with a disability – did you help to create history?
We know volleyball has been played since 1895 and has expanded to be the worldwide sport it is today. Volleyball for those with a disability is of more recent origin, both in standing and sitting forms, and tracing its history is now a significant project being undertaken by World Paravolley in which I am taking a small part.
But what of this version of the sport in England?
We know that sitting volleyball has been played for over half a century. It is possible that the people involved at that time are still alive today. I am hoping to put together a collection of material, including recorded interviews, that tell the story from that time. The Ray Tingley Tournament and the preparations for the London 2012 Olympics, especially concerning sitting volleyball, are just two areas of interest.
Were you part of that history or do you have the contact details of those who were? Did you know Ray Tingley or perhaps Len Softley, who helped to write the first rules for classification for the standing form?
I am already in contact with Gordon Neale and Tom Middleton, who were both active in earlier days and plan to talk to London 2012 head coaches Ian Legrand and Steve Jones. But there must be others whom I do not know or with whom I have lost contact.
In helping to tell the history of volleyball for those with a disability, many people will have large or small pieces of the jigsaw and now is the right time to capture it whilst many have first or at least second-hand experiences to share.
If you have anything or know anyone you think may help, please do get in touch.
Ken Edwards, Essex Pirates SVC
Picture above: GB Men’s Sitting Team v England Junior Men (white), net confrontation, January 1998