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Photo snapshot: sitting volleyball in Burundi

Members of Burundi's sitting volleyball team train in Bujumbura - Dieter Telemans | Panos Pictures

Sport is increasingly recognised as having an important role to play in development and rehabilitation processes. To celebrate the London 2012 Paralympics, we have dug through our archives to find photographs of inspirational sportsmen and women around the world for whom disability is no barrier.

In this photograph a sitting volleyball team practice in Bujumbura, in Burundi. Many members of the team used to be soldiers. Most of them became disabled during the Burundi civil war, which lasted from 1993 to 2005.

Sitting volleyball has been used to help empower injured former soliders in countries such as Burundi, the US and Bosnia, and as a tool in peace-building in post-conflict countries, such as Sri Lanka.

In the 2012 Paralympics 110 men and 88 women will compete in the sitting volleyball matches, with 11 athletes on each team (six players and five substitutes).

Sitting volleyball emerged in the Netherlands in the 1950s. A combination of volleyball and a German game called sitzbal, it began to increase in popularity during the 1960s, and has since grown into one of the most fast-paced and exciting Paralympic sports. It is now played by athletes in more than 50 countries around the world.

 

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To celebrate the London 2012 Paralympics, we have dug through our archives to find photographs of inspirational sportsmen and women for whom disability is no barrier.

Lilly Peel

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08/28/2012

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