Volleyball Canada announces women's sitting volleyball squad
9 returning players from 2015 Parapan bronze-medal winning team
By Matthew Cullen
The women's sitting volleyball team is ready to make history.
On Friday, Volleyball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee announced the women's sitting volleyball roster that will compete in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro this September.
The 12-athlete squad will make Canadian Paralympic history as no sitting volleyball team has ever qualified for the Games. The sport was added to the men's Paralympic program in 1980 and to the women's in 2004.
Led by head coach Nicole Ban, the team is looking to build off its success after capturing the bronze medal at the 2015 Parapan Am Games in Toronto — a feat which ultimately earned the squad a berth into the Rio Paralympic Games.
Ban, a Fort McMurray, Alta. native, will be joined by many familiar faces as nine players from the bronze-medal winning team were also named.
"By qualifying for and competing at the Paralympic Games in women's sitting volleyball, we have reached a new level of excellence," high performance director Ian Halliday said in a press release on Friday. "This team has showed tremendous fortitude and perseverance to reach a common goal."
Team Canada will be led by a list of veterans including returning players Chantal Beauchesne, Angelena Dolezar and Katelyn Wright. Shacarra Orr, Heidi Peters, Tessa Popoff, Amber Skyrpan, Felicia Voss-Shafiq and Jolan Wong were also named to the squad.
The three newcomers to the team include Danielle Ellis, Leanne Muldrew and Jennifer Oakes.
"These players have shown terrific dedication to become our first Canadian sitting volleyball team to compete at the Paralympic Games," Team Canada's Chef de Mission Chantal Petitclerc also said through the press release.
The men's squad came close but ultimately failed to qualify for the 2016 Paralympic Games.
The full list of Canada's 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