Posted at: 07/09/2013 6:33 PM

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Giving sitting volleyball a shot

(ABC 6 NEWS) -- Not long ago, Deb Vosler didn't even know sitting volleyball existed, but now she is a 2004 Paralympian in the sport.

"I didn't even know it was a game," she said, after first hearing about the sport.

Deb was injured in college playing volleyball, and after many years of being unable to pursue her passion, she was part of the first women's Paralympic competition in history.

"My whole life I've kind of been a pioneer in volleyball," said Vosler. "Being on the ground floor for that was just as exciting of an event as it could be."

Vosler, also teacher at Dover-Eyota High School, is now trying to spread the word about the sport of sitting volleyball, starting at the National Junior Disability Championships.

Danny Scrivano, a table tennis and track and field runner, was playing sitting volleyball for the first time and called it "pretty fun."

A social hour last night at RCTC allowed anyone to try the sport in hopes that a few might pick it up and continue playing.

"Being here, we're looking for athletes who might be our next Paralympians for Rio and beyond," said Elliot Blake, the coordinator for USA sitting volleyball. "It's a great opportunity to find the next athlete, see if they're interested in sitting volleyball, and then get them to learn the basics of the skills and team strategies. That way they can advance and become a Paralympian in 2016."

Because the sport is so new, things like this are crucial in growing it. The sport is also great because anyone can play. 

"One of the great things about sitting volleyball is that it's a sport for anybody," described Blake. "You can have a physical disability or you may not. Here, it's a great opportunity to introduce the sport to the athletes with physical disabilities while their parents are watching, and then engage the parents to play alongside them."

"My family plays volleyball so now we'll play sit down now," exclaimed Scrivano.
 
Sitting volleyball can only go up from here, and Deb Vosler is happy to help grow it in any way she can.

"It's a game of the future, and you have to start somewhere," Vosler said.