Mover & Shaker | Elliot Blake (USA)

Sitting Volleyball Coordinator for USA Volleyball!

1 – How did you get involved in Sitting Volleyball?

In 2006, I left a collegiate coaching position to pursue my master’s degree in sport management.  After graduating in December 2007, I said to myself that the first job available with USA Volleyball, I was going to take it.  Two months later, the posting for a Sitting Volleyball Coordinator was released, and I said to myself, ‘What the heck is sitting volleyball’.  Seven years later, I’m still here and having fun.

2 – What is it that motivates you each day to further develop our sport?

I am particularly interested to show athletes with physical disabilities what they can do.  Far too often are individuals with physical disabilities in doubt about their ability to be an elite level athlete.  By bringing them to our facility for development camps, teaching them the game, and seeing them grow on the court, it is truly inspiring of a process to observe.

3 – What has been your biggest achievement in Sitting Volleyball to date?

Biggest achievement….. I have to say there are two.  When I started in my position, I had set a personal goal of being ‘on the roster’ for either our men’s or women’s teams at a Paralympic Games.  I didn’t care what my job was, coach, team leader, ball boy, whatever… I just wanted to be able to have been part of the support team that gave the athletes everything they needed to be successful on the court.  Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to serve as the statistician for our women’s team in London, and that was truly a once in a lifetime experience.

The second was serving as the Competition Director for the 2010 World Championships. Our team at UCO put forth a tremendous amount of work to plan and execute that event, and for 14 days, it went by with almost no hiccups seen by the teams, spectators, or officials.  To pull off that event, with 33 teams, left me inspired to find new ways serve in more leadership roles within WPV, and I certainly look forward to those opportunities.

4 – How would you explain Sitting Volleyball to someone in 12 words or less?

Everything is the same as standing, except you sit on the floor

5 – Where/how do you see Sitting Volleyball in 10 years time?

In 10 years, I hope that we have more competition events globally that provides the teams more opportunities to raise the level of play.  You are only as good as the competition you play against, but if you’re only playing them two or three times a year, it’s very easy to sit back and question how good do you really need to be, or how good are you now and can you challenge your opponents.  I believe that everyone in the WPV is working hard to see more competitions be developed, and hopefully through continuous awareness that we are all doing, we can increase the number of players, teams, and events across the world.


The ‘Movers & Shakers’ initiative is aimed at giving more recognition to those that are developing Sitting Volleyball around the globe.

It can be anyone working in the sport, whether they have excelled at promoting it, ran a successful competition, started a new club/activity, organised events to increase awareness, influenced people for the greater benefit of the sport or a combination of the above.

Please do let us know if you know of someone who deserves to be highlighted by e-mailing with the following:

  • Full name
  • e-mail address
  • Country in which they mainly work
  • A short justification of why you are putting them forward

Their story will also offer others a chance for others to learn from their good practise and use what works in their area for even greater benefit.  This is your chance to give recognition to those who promote and build the sport of sitting volleyball.  We look forward to hearing from you.