Sitting volleyball has grown to be one of the most popular paralympic sports in the UK, and this is no different in Salford.
The City of Salford Sitting Volleyball team is open to people of all abilities, and both disabled and nondisabled people can attend.
The session runs from 7pm to 8.30pm on Tuesdays at the Irlam and Cadishead Leisure Centre.
Graham Walker attends the session, and has also helped the club secure funding.
Like others who attend, he is also ex-military.
“Sitting volleyball has been going for quite a few years. There are plenty of people who are not able to play contact sports anymore because of injuries.” says Graham.
“They’re either born with the injuries, picked them up through illness, or like some who attend our sessions, get these injuries through the military.
“One of the guys who attends this club (Lamin Manneh) was unfortunately involved in an explosion in Afghanistan, he’s a triple amputee.
“He’s now played at the invictus games and has represented the United Kingdom.”
The team is open to those of different skill levels, and Graham believes offers a crucial component in rehabilitation, alongside providing an opportunity to socialise.
“To get together, once a week, and to play games against each other and teams from all over the country is a buzz for the guys.
“We have a laugh and a joke, and like with any sporting team we all support each other.” says Graham.
“Ordinarily you’d be sat outside watching, thinking I could do that, but this is something that anyone can do.”
The group has been recently established, with funding provided recently to help cover running costs for those who attend.
“The club is in its second year. We’ve been kindly funded by CVS this year, an organisation in Eccles who help support local community projects.” says Graham.
However, the ambitions for the club and the sport as a whole are larger than the weekly session, with Graham hoping to help grow the sport within Salford.
“I’ve been to the Sports City in Manchester, helping coach sitting volleyball to schools, so we do get out into the community, and help spread the sporting gospel.” says Graham.
“I’ve coached at schools, and helped teach (sitting volleyball) to those with special needs, and the kids love it. I’ve seen guys in wheelchairs with the biggest smile on their face.
“We are really trying to get everyone, abled or disabled, involved.”
Anyone interested in attending a session with the City of Salford Sitting Volleyball team, can find out more here.