The Bosnians of Bosna Zenica were crowned champions at the maiden edition of the international Sitting Volleyball Tournament in Catalonia (ESP) which was part of the Third Sports Week of Catalonia. Zenica, a representative club of Bosnia and Herzegovina, became the only unbeaten team at the competition, as in the Final game against the representative club of Italy, the Bosnians seized a 3-0 win.
Between June 24 and June 26, four teams competed for the trophy – Catalonia, Andalusia, a representative club of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ZKSO Bosna Zenica) and a representative club of Italy.
- Representative club of Bosnia and Herzgovina – ZKSO Bosna Zenica (BIH)
- Representative club of Italy
The tournament offered to the spectators in Castellar del Valles a first “glimpse” of the magic of the sport, opening the door to international sitting volleyball competitions in the region.
Organised by the Catalan Volleyball Federation, with the support of Sitting Volley Sevilla and the Union of Sports Federations of Catalonia, the event was a special one because of the openness of all the participants to share and learn more about the sport.
Besides the official games, the teams had joint trainings where players of the representative clubs of Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina took the opportunity to show the teams of Catalonia and Andalusia some basic “tricks” of the game, exchanging experience and knowledge.
Maribel Zamora, President of the Catalan Volleyball Federation declared:
“We had different options to organise an event (volleyball, beach volleyball, paravolley) in the frame of the third Catalan week of sports where there are more than 50 different sports disciplines. We did our analysis and we decided that, at this kind of event, where we have more than 4,500 athletes from all the five continents here in Catalunya, it would be a great chance to start with promoting paravolley. We wanted to be pioneers.
We had great cooperation with Sitting Volley Sevilla, as they have more experience than us in paravolley, and also the help by ParaVolley Europe was essential, showing great support in all the matters.
We always want to provide activities that are open to the world. We aim at excellence always, and this was the case here as well, relying on so much diversity. We need to learn from teams that are more experienced than us, so they can help us grown and show us the first steps. Bringing professionals (players and staff) that are better than you, helps you grow. To us, this is the main experience – that other teams can show us how to play better, how to enjoy better the sport and how to grow.
As for the future of paravolley in the region, we don’t put any limits. Now, that we have made the first step, we want to continue our work and keep on promoting the paravolley – a sport that fascinated us all here!”
Daniel Lopez, President of Sitting Volley Sevilla continued:
“It was an incredible experience! This is what we needed here in Spain – being reunited with other clubs and having this first contact.
This tournament became reality because of the Catalan Volleyball Federation, from one side, and this great opportunity to be part of such a big event as the third Catalan sports week, and on the other hand, thanks to our work from Sitting Volley Sevilla due to the agreement that we have with ParaVolley Europe to develop the paravolley in Spain.
We receive a lot of information from PVE, and we try to convey and transmit the message to our colleagues – regulations, etc. The best part is that we were all learning together.
One of the things that we really wanted at this event was precisely this – to learn from other countries. Since the very first training, together with the representative teams of Italy and Bosnia and Herzegovina, they were very helpful and showed us many things. We need to learn, so that in the next years we can develop the sport even more in Spain.
The future of paravolley in Spain? We talk more and more about it, many regional federations are also doing small clinics, so I see it developing. For example, in Sevilla, we tried to “bring the sport to the street” – with exhibition games, so that everyone sees it gets curious.”
Ferhad Sehic, head coach of Bosna Zenica concluded:
“As a person with disabilities since 1995, I have seen many parts of the world, but this is one of the best experience I have had. The best way top practice and develop, is as we did here in the tournament at joint trainings – to have mixed teams, men and women, and also from the different teams. The mentality of Spanish is somehow close to ours – they are emotional and enjoy the game, and I think there is a bright future for the paravolley in the country.”