EDMONTON, July 8, 2016 /CNW/ - Volleyball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are proud to announce the 12 athletes nominated for selection to Team Canada to make history in women's sitting volleyball at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this September.
This is the first time Canada has qualified for the Paralympic Games in sitting volleyball. The men's game was added to the Paralympic program in 1980 and the women's tournament debuted in 2004.
''By qualifying for and competing at the Paralympic Games in women's sitting volleyball, we have reached a new level of excellence,'' said Ian Halliday, High Performance Director - Sitting Volleyball for Volleyball Canada. ''This team has showed tremendous fortitude and perseverance to reach a common goal.''
The Canadian squad, led by head coach Nicole Ban of Fort McMurray, Alta., has nine returning members from the team that won bronze at the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games, which earned them a berth at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.
''These players have shown terrific dedication to become our first Canadian sitting volleyball team to compete at the Paralympic Games,'' said Team Canada's Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc. ''Congratulations to the players and staff for a taking a giant step in their program, and all the best as you work towards a peak performance in Rio.''
The returning team members are Chantal Beauchesne of St-Isidore, Ont., Angelena Dolezar and Katelyn Wright, both of Edmonton, Alta., Shacarra Orr of Jaffray, B.C., Heidi Peters of Neerlandia, Alta., Tessa Popoff of Surrey, B.C., Amber Skyrpan of Wandering River, Alta., Felicia Voss-Shafiq of Burnaby, B.C., and Jolan Wong of Pembroke, Ont.
The newcomers to the team are Danielle Ellis of Langley, B.C., Leanne Muldrew of Winnipeg, Man. and Jennifer Oakes of Calgary, Alta.
"I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the sitting volleyball athletes nominated to Team Canada for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games,'' said the Honorable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities. ''I know from experience that competing for our country at the Paralympic Games is a unique and humbling experience. On behalf of all Canadians, I wish you well as you enter the final stages of your preparation on the road to Rio."
The Canadian men's sitting volleyball team just fell short in its bid to qualify for Rio.
Athlete and coach biographies are available at Paralympic.ca/athletes. Bios and high resolution photos can be downloaded at http://tinyurl.com/j5uqote.
The athletes nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Team are as follows:
Women's sitting volleyball team
Chantal Beauchesne (St. Isidore, Ont.)
Angelena Dolezar (Edmonton)
Danielle Ellis (Langley, B.C.)
Leanne Muldrew (Winnipeg)
Jennifer Oakes (Calgary)
Shacarra Orr (Jaffray, B.C.)
Heidi Peters (Neerlandia, Alta.)
Tessa Popoff (Surrey, B.C.)
Amber Skyrpan (Wandering River, Alta.)
Felicia Voss-Shafiq (Burnaby, B.C.)
Jolan Wong (Pembroke, Ont.)
Katelyn Wright (Edmonton)
The nominated team will be supported by head coach Nicole Ban (Fort McMurray, Alta.)
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SOURCE Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC)
Image with caption: "Volleyball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are proud to announce the 12 athletes nominated for selection to Team Canada to make history in women's sitting volleyball at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this September. Photo: Rob Hislop / Canadian Paralympic Committee (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160707_C4789_PHOTO_EN_729974.jpg
Image with caption: "Volleyball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee are proud to announce the 12 athletes nominated for selection to Team Canada to make history in women’s sitting volleyball at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games this September. Photo: Jody Bailey / Volleyball Canada (CNW Group/Canadian Paralympic Committee (CPC))". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160707_C4789_PHOTO_EN_729743.jpg
For further information: Jackie Skender, Volleyball Canada, Phone: 613.794.7676, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Alison Korn, Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications, Canadian Paralympic Committee, Tel: 613-569-4333 ext. 243 / Cell: 613-298-4927, Email: email@example.com