Paralympians prepare for Beijing via Oklahoma

June 26, 2008, 6:37 p.m. (ET)
EDMOND, Okla. - The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) is hosting to the U.S. Paralympic Women's Sitting Volleyball team who will train in the coming months to prepare for the 2008 Paralympics in Beijing.

As of July 9, 2008, all 12 players on the national team will be living and training on UCO's campus. The players and coaches have collected from 10 states around the U.S. in order to give the national team the best shot at bringing home gold.

UCO's Wellness Center is the home for the team's training and two weeklong camps scheduled to start July 21 and Aug. 4.

The U.S. Paralympic Women's Sitting Volleyball team also has tentative matches scheduled to face the Canadian Women's National team. The exhibitions will be held at UCO on July 17 through July 20, 2008.

After training in Oklahoma, the national team will leave for Colorado Springs, Colo. on Aug. 16 for a final training camp before they leave for Beijing.

The 2008 Paralympic Games will take place Sept. 6 through Sept. 17.

Sitting volleyball is an extremely fast paced sport whose rules and strategy are similar to standing volleyball. Some notable differences in sitting volleyball are the players must remain on their hindquarters when hitting the ball, the net is lowered to around three feet, and a smaller court size.

UCO, a Paralympic Training Site, is home to eight Paralympic resident athletes. Of the permanent residents, three are members of the US Women's Sitting Volleyball team.

For more information regarding the Paralympic program at UCO, please contact Elliot Blake with UCO Disabled Sports at (405) 974-3153.