Sitting volleyball: A successful and popular sport in Korea

Dangjin Newspaper, a local newspaper in Korea, produced content to introduce sports for people with disabilities by presenting it through articles and videos.

This special feature includes seven sports, including boccia, Para lawn ball, goalball, Para badminton, Para bowling, Para rowing and sitting volleyball.

Currently, the society is centred around non-disabled people and only a small number of people are aware of the reality of sports for people with disabilities. This plan was created to raise awareness about people with disabilities through sports.

The video explained how sitting volleyball started globally and in the Asian region, where Korea has been actively participating in competitions, including the Asian Para Games. It also explained how the sitting volleyball is played, as well as the similarities and differences between sitting volleyball and volleyball.

Coach Kim Ho-seok of Dangjin City Disabled Sports Association. ⓒDangjin Newspaper

“Sitting volleyball is a sport that catches the attention of spectators with its fast-paced and intense plays while sitting on the floor, as compared to the solid spikes seen in regular volleyball matches,” said Kim Ho-seok, coach of Dangjin City Disabled Sports Association.

“Passion is not much different between disabled and able-bodied people. In fact you can become more immersed in the unique charm of sitting volleyball.”

Although there is scarcity in the players in the city, the tactician is hopeful that the with proper introduction and consistent support to sitting volleyball, many people with disabilities will feel confident to play.

“Currently, there are very few players in Dangjin who play sitting volleyball, so preparation is not easy every time the Chungnam Sports Festival for the Disabled approaches. At the last Para Games, we barely had enough people, so we were only able to get together for about a month. As for the training venue, we had to temporarily rent an elementary school gym ahead of the competition to train, so the amount of training is not enough,” coach Kim explained.

“With the nature of the sport that has many people with lower extremity disabilities, it is difficult for some to come out, in some cases they want to hide their disability. If there is consistent and systematic support, many of them would want to play sitting volleyball and they will feel confident. As for myself, I will participate because of the health benefits, and I hope we can all play together.”

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in Dangjin Newspaper and has been published with permission.