Sit2Play – Great show in Finnish national tournament

Finnish Sports Association of Persons with Disabilities (VAU) and Finnish Volleyball Association organized national SIT2PLAY tournament on September 11, 2019, in Liikuntakeskus Pajulahti. There were three participating teams, which composed of disabled and able-bodied players aged between 14 and 18 years. The teams competed for the first place of the tournament, but also for the opportunity to be qualified to the finals of the SIT2PLAY project, which will be held in Rome, Italy on November 2019. The main concept of the SIT2PLAY project, the social inclusion, was presented throughout the whole tournament and it was admirable to see how disabled and able-bodied players played inclusive sitting volleyball together. It was also great to see how players, who had earlier experience from volleyball or sitting volleyball, guided the disabled players to take part in the game and to understand the rules of sitting volleyball. The able-bodied players, for instance, helped disabled players act as the team captains, which was remarkable and important experience for the disabled players. For all the players the most important thing was being able to take part in the tournament and to have fun on the court. During the matches, other players and crowd cheered for the teams and the players were rewarded for the stunning performances with applause. The players gave really positive feedback after the tournament and in their opinion sitting volleyball can be used to integrate disabled and able-bodied adolescents together. Many of them were also interested to continue playing sitting volleyball in the future.