Meredith Gross helped her team win silver at the 2019 Pingtan Beach World Series Open
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Jan. 17, 2020) – USA Volleyball is gearing up for its second season as the official national federation for the relatively new sport of beach ParaVolley after a successful entry into the sport in 2019.
Beach ParaVolley, or standing beach volleyball played with three-member teams, works within the Paralympic classification system which promotes the inclusivity of the sport.
Under the direction of USA Volleyball Beach ParaVolley Program Administrator Michelle Goodall and coaches Dan Mickle and Jon Aharoni, USA Volleyball held four beach ParaVolley camps in 2019 and one pre-tournament training camp that brought in 19 athletes in 2019. USA Volleyball entered one male and one female team into the 2019 Pingtan Beach World Series Open event in Pingtan, China, resulting in the gold in the men’s division and the silver in the women’s division.
USA Volleyball is building up its beach ParaVolley program with a pipeline of athletes in anticipation that World ParaVolley, the international federation for Paralympic volleyball, and the International Paralympic Committee will be able to add beach ParaVolley to the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympics. Overall, the sport has been gaining popularity with teams regularly competing in Asia/Oceania since 2007.
“We checked off several major milestones in our initial year in beach ParaVolley, including becoming the national federation for the sport early last year,” Goodall said. “Our goal now is to further expand our pipeline to include more athletes in training and additional competition offerings working in conjunction with World ParaVolley. While the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympics seems to be many years away, we want to be fully entrenched in the sport by then should beach ParaVolley be added to the Paralympics programming. We are excited to see new clubs and organizations adding beach ParaVolley programming where athletes can participate in the early adoption of the sport.”
USA Volleyball is in the process of finalizing its beach ParaVolley training camp schedule for 2020. The national governing body expects to hold four training camps and demonstrations at existing beach volleyball events to expose the sport to new audiences. With the possibility of up to four international events taking place in 2020, USA Volleyball anticipates its overseas participation in beach ParaVolley events to increase from 2019 as well.
The 2020 camp schedule and online registration is expected to be announced early next week.