COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (June 18, 2014) – USA Volleyball has been officially designated as the National Governing Body (NGB) for the Paralympic sport of sitting volleyball in the United States. The proposal by USA Volleyball to be recognized as such was approved by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Board of Directors at its June 6 meeting.
USA Volleyball’s Board of Directors approved submission of the proposal to the USOC at its May 22-23 Board of Directors meeting in Phoenix.
“This is a wonderful move for USA Volleyball,” said Doug Beal, CEO for USA Volleyball. “I applaud the decision by both our Board and the USOC’s to approve this initiative. I very much want to thank the USOC for formalizing this relationship. I also appreciate the unanimous support of our Board and the leadership of Cecile Reynaud who led the committee responsible for evaluating and recommending this action for USAV Board approval.”
Bill Hamiter, director of USA Volleyball Sitting Team Programs and the head coach for the women’s sitting national team, believes the agreement will stimulate the growth of sitting volleyball in the United States to even greater levels.
“For all our athletes, they are really looking at it like we have a place that we really belong,” Hamiter said. “Even though USA volleyball has always brought us in and made us feel like part of the family, now we really are part of the family. For the program that means long-term stability and hopefully helps us to continue to build both programs where we can continue to get those athletes in so we can continue to have successful athletes for years to come.”
Beal said this NGB recognition builds upon USA Volleyball’s commitment to the Sitting Team Programs in the short and long term.
“We have been committed to the Sitting Team programs, their growth and their success, and this recognition will further enhance our objectives,” Beal said.
The formalization of USA Volleyball as the NGB for Sitting Team Programs will also help build awareness for the sport across the country and add to the program support our 40 Regional Volleyball Associations are currently providing for the sitting discipline in the sport of volleyball.
“I think USA Volleyball becoming the NGB for sitting volleyball is a step in the direction that all Paralympic sports need to go in and are going in,” said Katie Holloway, two-time Paralympic silver medalist and current member of the U.S. Women’s Sitting Team. “USA Volleyball is a leader in that, and I expect a lot of great things to come of it - awareness about the sitting game, excitement around the game, talent ID as a resource, or just plain being a part of the USA Volleyball officially. I feel very humbled that USA Volleyball would really take us on and ultimately be the leader in volleyball in the United States.”