Para PanAm Toronto 2015

  • The Para PanAm Games were a success and there have been many reports in English, ranging from articles, interviews, to short snippets of results from the Canadian performance.

(please note, this page will be updated soon with highlights of those media reports in the coming days).

  • Neerlandia native wins bronze medal in Pan Am Games
    By: Barry Kenton on Barhead Leader 22 Sept 2015

Volleyball has always been a big part of Heidi Peters’ life. In fact, the popular sport may be responsible for helping save her life.

Peters, a Neerlandia native, is a volleyball player with the Canadian Women’s National Sitting Volleyball Team. The team recently competed, in and won, the bronze medal in the Parapan Am Games in Toronto in July. By winning the medal the team qualified to play in the 2016 Summer Parlympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

“I have played volleyball, in some shape or form through junior high and high school,” she said.

In the spring of 2011, when Peters was in Grade 12, she was playing on a club volleyball team when she developed, what she thought was a simple case of shin splints.

“I was having more pain in my left shin than I thought was normal,” Peters said, adding that she continued to play and ignore the pain as much as she could.

However, when a bump appeared on her lower left leg, Peters and her parents decided she could no longer ignore the problem.

Starting in the early summer, Peters underwent a number of tests and scans to determine what the cause of the pain in her lower leg was, as well as what the nature of the bump was.

In late August, Peter’s doctor, after receiving the results of all the scans, decided to biopsy the bump and by early September the results were in – it was osteosarcoma, a bone cancer.

“I will never forget the date, Sept. 9, 2011. That is the day I was diagnosed with cancer,” she said.

As part of the diagnosis process Peters’ doctors also discovered that the cancer in her leg had spread to one of her lungs.

“They gave me three weeks to prepare for my treatment, although I really didn’t know what that meant,” she said. “I went to school and tried to be as normal as possible.”

Her treatment started on Sept. 21, with surgery to remove the three growths the doctors had found in her lungs. At the same time, Peters’ surgeon also put in a catheter, known as a central line, into a large vein so she could undergo chemotherapy treatment, which she started about five days after her surgery.

“The protocol for bone cancer is 40 weeks of chemotherapy treatments, but because it spread to my lungs they added four more weeks,” she said.

In any given week of treatment, Peters would spend three to four days at the Stollery Hospital’s oncology department as an out patient, for three weeks of the month.

After 12 weeks of treatment, it didn’t seem to be having much of an effect, so her surgeon suggested amputation as the best course of action.

“If I chose to do a limb salvage, my surgeon told me it would require a number of follow up surgeries and in the end I could have a much more active life if I underwent an amputation,” Peters said, adding that after talking it over with her family that is what she decided to do.

“It was pretty rough,” she said, adding one of the most difficult things about this period was that she wasn’t able to play volleyball with the rest of her friends and teammates. “Volleyball was such a big part of my life and just being able to visit and watch a few tournaments and not be on the court with my friends, really sucked.”

Peters said she dealt with it by the only way she could, by living one day at a time.

“You are in survival mode. You live day to day, because looking any further ahead is just too overwhelming. I lived like that for an entire year.”

Eventually she said life did return to a new normal. She returned home, went back to school and completed high school, graduating a year later. After high school Peters went on to NAIT and successfully completed the photographic technology program. Currently, she is attending Grant MacEwan where she enrolled in the travel program to become a travel agent.

Peters said she never really gave up on the idea of playing volleyball.

During her chemotherapy sessions at the Stollery, she met Jolan Wong, a player on the Canadian Women’s National Sitting Volleyball team. Like Peters, Wong lost her leg to osteosarcoma, about seven years earlier.

“She was volunteering one night at the Stollery when she met my mom and eventually me,” Peters said. “She encouraged me to try out for the national volleyball team when I was ready.”

However, Peters said although she was excited about the prospect of playing volleyball again, it took a year before she decided to take Wong’s suggestion.

“It’s been great. For the last two and half-years I have been on the national team,” she said, adding that the team meets every month to six weeks, most of the time in Edmonton to train.

In between, national team training sessions players from the various regions train in small groups.

“We’re really fortunate in Edmonton,” she said. “We have a really good group of volleyball players. There are four of us on the women’s team and there is a lot of members from the men’s team that live here too.”

When asked what her highlight of her national team career was, Peters quickly responded, the PanAm games, where the team won a bronze medal.

“We have a really great, young team,” Peters said, adding only two players on the team had ever been in any type of international competition. Peters is one of the players that hadn’t seen any international action before.

To prepare for the games, Peters and her teammates travelled to Europe to take part in a training session and an exhibition match with the British team.

To further prepare for the games, the team arrived in Toronto a week early, to get acclimatized to the venue and some additional practice.

Although Peters said even though they had a strong team, they knew they would be facing some stiff competition.

“The Americans and Brazilians are the best in the world and the Cubans, the team we played for the bronze medal, play a very unorthodox style that was hard to match up against,” she said.

As for what’s next for Peters she said she, like the rest of her teammates, are working hard to prepare for the Olympics and improve on their bronze medal performance.

“It is so gratifying to be able to represent your country and I am humbled to be surrounded by not only such great athletes, but people who have had to overcome so much to get where they are,” she said. “Everyone involved in parasports shares this unspoken bond and is something that I am truly amazed and blessed to be part of.”

  • Parapan Am profile: Canada’s sitting volleyball player continues digging out Paralympic dream
    By: Alana Kelly on City News 15 Aug 2015

The GTA born-and-raised man rattles off the list of sports he’s played as if reading a grocery list.

“Basketball, football, baseball, soccer and a little bit of volleyball,” said the 29 year old.

So when his friends asked him to join them on the court to play sitting volleyball in 2012, he didn’t hesitate.

Those same friends have now been his teammates for the past four years.

“I’ve been with these guys ever since,” said Anderson.

Anderson, who was beaming from cheek to cheek about competing in his first ever Parapan Am Games, made the Canadian sitting volleyball team at a selection camp in his hometown and enjoys the difficulty of the sport.

Before he took to the court for sitting volleyball, he developed flu-like symptoms that ended up making him very ill and was diagnosed with multi-organ failure in 2008. He was in a coma for a month, losing circulation to his limbs after doctors focused blood flow to his heart to keep him alive.

Jamoi Anderson winds up for a serve during a sitting volleyball match. Photo courtesy: Volleyball Canada
Jamoi Anderson winds up for a serve during a sitting volleyball match. Photo courtesy: Volleyball Canada

The lack of blood flow to the rest of his body resulted in his left foot developing gangrene.

“I looked into amputations and I was comfortable with doing the surgery,” he said. “It’s been wicked ever since.”

Anderson said he was able to keep his knee joint and amputated below it on his left leg, which allows him to do “everything.”

“Whatever you can think of, I do it,” he said. “I’ve always been athletic and competitive, so this was just another step of a challenge for me to overcome.”

He even prefers sitting volleyball to standing.

“Sitting is definitely more challenging, but it’s also more fun,” he said.

During the game, players must have their torso on the ground when they hit the ball, using a lot of upper body and core strength to travel across the court. Players get ready with their hands in sitting volleyball, instead of their legs as they would in standing.

The two sports are very similar with only slight differences.

“Same rules apply, three contacts, we still attack the ball,” Anderson said.

This year’s Canadian team is the best group he’s played with since joining the sport.

“Our skills and talent really come together,” he said. And playing on home soil gives them that extra advantage to make it to the finals.

But it wasn’t only a Parapan Am Games medal on the line.

“This is the direct qualifier for the Paralympics next year in Brazil,” said Anderson.

The top two teams in the gold medal final qualify for the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics.

Team Canada missed the gold medal round after losing to the United States on Aug 13, but advanced onto the bronze medal match on Aug 14.

“We worked really hard,” said Anderson.

But Anderson’s determination for pursuing challenges demonstrates one thing, it’s that he has the ability to keep working towards his dream of making it to the Paralympics.

“When you are given challenges and you can overcome them and want to continue to pursue things… that’s the place I want to be.”

The team finished with an impressive bronze medal after defeating Columbia 3-0. It wasn’t the ending Anderson had hoped for, but said the experience was an opportunity of a lifetime.

Austin Hinchey, who used to hide his amputated leg, tosses his prosthetic to lead sitting volleyball team.

Austin Hinchey will try to lead Canada to a Parapan Am title and a Paralympic berth in sitting volleyball.

STEVE RUSSELL / TORONTO STAR

Austin Hinchey will try to lead Canada to a Parapan Am title and a Paralympic berth in sitting volleyball.

At first, he didn’t like people to know and he certainly didn’t want them to see his amputated left leg. He wore pants and used a flesh-coloured prosthetic with foam pads to mimic, as much as possible, a real leg. He even swam with it, though that was much harder than swimming without it.

But now, as captain of Canada’s sitting volleyball team, Hinchey happily yanks off his prosthetic leg and hops on to the court to play sport at its highest level.

That some athletes essentially disable themselves to play is one of the lesser known things about para sport.

In sitting volleyball or swimming they take off prosthetic limbs to compete. In goalball, athletes with partial vision wear blackout eyeshades to ensure they can’t see anything. In wheelchair basketball or rugby, some athletes get into wheelchairs, which they don’t normally use, to play the game.

That means para sport isn’t just the tale of people overcoming physical challenges to play sport; it’s athletes embracing their impairment and, in many cases, being better for it on the field of play.

“It’s the total reverse effect,” Hinchey explains.

“When I wear my leg and walk around most people would assume I’m able-bodied and if I sat down to play the way I am now, for sure I’d be worse,” says the 23-year-old Edmonton native.

“When I take my leg off, it frees me up and gets my leg out of the way and I can play better without it. It’s unique in that sense — I become more disabled but it improves my performance as an athlete.”

This all makes a lot of sense to him now but wrapping his head around it didn’t come instantly.

“It’s a funny concept for me because I didn’t originally like showing off that I’m disabled. When I was young, especially, my legs were always covered.”

He may have preferred that people didn’t know he was put together a little differently but Hinchey never felt limited by his amputation.

“I thought I could do anything and it would work out,” he recalls. “I didn’t have any barriers or limitations.”

That’s the attitude that took him through five years of able-bodied varsity volleyball. Hinchey played three years of volleyball at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, where he was named MVP, and then he really defied the odds when he made the team at the University of British Columbia for his final two years of eligibility.

“I still train with some of the college teams and I can play pretty high level men’s league but my focus right now is on sitting volleyball and trying to medal at Toronto and ultimately qualify for Rio,” Hinchey says.

To get to the 2016 Rio Paralympics, the men’s team needs to win gold or come second to Brazil, which has already qualified, at the Parapan Am Games. The women’s team needs to finish ahead of Cuba.

Canada’s teams are both ranked in the top 20 internationally but at the August 7-15 Parapan Ams, the only two countries ahead of them are Brazil and the U.S.

At the 2011 Guadalajara Games, Hinchey and his teammates won the bronze medal. Toronto’s Games are the debut for women’s sitting volleyball in the Parapan Ams.

While Canada’s primary goal at the upcoming games is to qualify for Rio, the secondary goal is growing the sport.

“It’s still a fairly unknown sport,” says Ray Sewell, head coach of the men’s sitting volleyball team.

“We want to get it out there, hopefully put on a good showing and maybe find some new athletes. It’s a pretty small number right now, which is challenging,” he says, noting the team has little depth to withstand injuries or retirement.

Canada’s national sitting program started less than a decade ago, in 2007, and Hinchey was one of the first players.

He’s played every type of volleyball there is to play: indoor, beach, standing disabled (before it was taken out of the Paralympic program) and sitting.

That extensive volleyball background is part of what makes Hinchey such a valuable player, Sewell says.

He’s also got the key physical components to being a great sitting player: “long arms, long torso and, usually, a lower body amputation.”

In the sitting game, some leg provides support and helps athletes move around the floor — this is a fast game — but too much leg slows them down.

“A lot of the best players are like me,” Hinchey explains. “They’re a below knee amp on one side or a one side leg amp.’

And during the game all their prosthetic legs gather dust on the sidelines.

“One of the cool things about Paralympic sports is how the sports work when you lose the prosthetics or apparatus that you use to make you more able-bodied,” he says. “When you get rid of those to play a para sport, you’re always better.”

  • Tickets for Sitting Volleyball on sale

Tickets for the 12 sessions of sitting volleyball competition range from 15$ to 25$ for the medal session. For example, here is an extract from a site with tickets details, although tickets are available officially through ticketmaster

PVS12 Parapan Am Sitting Volleyball (Medal) PAC

Pan Am Games

DATE & TIME

Start Date: Friday, 14 August 2015
End Date: Friday, 14 August 2015
Time: 5:00 PM

LOCATION & ADMISSION

CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House (PAC)
875 Morningside Avenue, Toronto ON, M1C 0C7
Information for GPS:
Latitude: 43.79121 Longitude: -79.19498
All Ages | Tickets from $25

CONTACT INFO & ABOUT EVENT

Contact:Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games
Email:info@toronto2015.org
Website:http://www.toronto2015.org/
The objective is similar to volleyball: hit the ball over the net and land it in the opposing team’s half of the court. In sitting volleyball, however, the net is 1.05 metres high for women and 1.15 metres high for men, service blocks are allowed and one of the athlete’s buttocks must remain in contact with the floor at all times when handling the ball.

The Canadian Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team. - Photo submitted

The Canadian Women’s Sitting Volleyball Team.

With qualification for Rio in their sights, athletes for both men’s and women’s sitting volleyball teams have been selected by Volleyball Canada for nomination to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games team after a training camp and tournament this past week in Montreal.

A total of 12 men and 10 women were named to the team along with head coaches Ray Sewell of Calgary (for the men) and Nicole Ban of Edmonton (for the women).

Of local note is Shacarra Orr, from Jaffray, who will be playing on the women’s team as a setter.

The Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games will be an important tournament for Canada’s men’s and women’s national sitting volleyball teams as it is a direct qualifier for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. The Canadian men’s team took the bronze at the 2007 and 2011 Parapan Am Games, while this is a first major Games appearance for the women.

In men’s sitting volleyball, Canada needs to finish first or second to Brazil to gain a berth for the Paralympic Games. The Brazilians already have a spot locked up as hosts.

“The Parapan Am Games being held in Toronto is a huge opportunity for parasport in Canada and for the continued development of sitting volleyball,” said Ray Sewell, head coach of Canada’s men’s team. “Our team has made big improvements over the last couple years and we are excited to prove that Canada continues to be competitive in the Pan Am zone. The addition of some younger athletes onto our team has given us a good balance of experience, youth and enthusiasm.”

On the women’s side, Canada needs to finish ahead of Cuba to qualify for Rio. Brazil is in as host and the U.S. automatically gained a berth by winning the gold medal at the world championships last year.

“We are excited to begin our preparations for the Games this summer,” said Nicole Ban, the women’s team head coach. “This is the first time that there is a women’s division for sitting volleyball in the Parapan Am Games and we are thrilled that it is taking place in Canada. We have a number of new athletes and we are hoping to have a good showing at the Parapan Am Games and contend for a berth in the 2016 Paralympic Games.”

In sitting volleyball teams are composed of players with various disabilities such as amputations and spinal cord injuries. Players are seated and must keep contact with the floor at all times. Athletes demonstrate amazing mobility and skill as they serve, pass, smash and block

Mississauga’s Jason Naval has been selected as a member of the Canadian men’s sitting volleyball team that will compete in the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games in August.

The 30-year-old, who began playing sitting volleyball after a car accident left him with a disability in 2009, is a libero for Canada.

He also competed in the 2011 Parapan Am Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, helping Canada win bronze.

The Parapan Am Games will be a direct qualifier for the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Canada will need to win gold or place second to Brazil in order to qualify for the Paralympics.

Canada is expected to send some 220 athletes to the Parapan Am Games from Aug. 7 to 15. Qualification in other sports is ongoing and Canada’s full team will be officially unveiled in July.

  • Sitting volleyball squads nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee for Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games
    May 4, 2015 SRIS
CPC – Sitting volleyball squads nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee for Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games
Photos: Patrice Lapointe / CPC
MONTREAL, May 4, 2015 – With qualification for Rio in their sights, athletes for both men’s and women’s sitting volleyball teams have been nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee for selection to the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games team after a training camp and tournament this past week in Montreal.
A total of 12 men and 10 women were named to the team along with head coaches Ray Sewell of Calgary (for the men) and Nicole Ban of Edmonton (for the women).
The complete roster appears at the end of this release.
The Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games will be an important tournament for Canada’s men’s and women’s national sitting volleyball teams as it is a direct qualifier for the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. The Canadian men’s team took the bronze at the 2007 and 2011 Parapan Am Games, while this is a first major Games appearance for the women.
In men’s sitting volleyball, Canada needs to finish first or second to Brazil to gain a berth for the Paralympic Games. The Brazilians already have a spot locked up as hosts.
“The Parapan Am Games being held in Toronto is a huge opportunity for parasport in Canada and for the continued development of sitting volleyball,” said Ray Sewell, head coach of Canada’s men’s team. “Our team has made big improvements over the last couple years and we are excited to prove that Canada continues to be competitive in the Pan Am zone. The addition of some younger athletes onto our team has given us a good balance of experience, youth and enthusiasm.”
On the women’s side, Canada needs to finish ahead of Cuba to qualify for Rio. Brazil is in as host and the U.S. automatically gained a berth by winning the gold medal at the world championships last year.
“We are excited to begin our preparations for the Games this summer,” said Nicole Ban, the women’s team head coach. “This is the first time that there is a women’s division for sitting volleyball in the Parapan Am Games and we are thrilled that it is taking place in Canada. We have a number of new athletes and we are hoping to have a good showing at the Parapan Am Games and contend for a berth in the 2016 Paralympic Games.”
In sitting volleyball teams are composed of players with various disabilities such as amputations and spinal cord injuries. Players are seated and must keep contact with the floor at all times. Athletes demonstrate amazing mobility and skill as they serve, pass, smash and block.
“I’ve had an opportunity to meet the sitting volleyball team and staff,” said Canada’s Chef de Mission Elisabeth Walker-Young. “Their spirit, dedication and work ethic impressed me. I’m pleased that they will be on Team Canada for the Toronto 2015 Games with the intended goal of qualifying for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. I’m looking forward to seeing these athletes in action in Toronto.”
The sitting volleyball squad is the second of 14 Canadian teams to be nominated to the Canadian Paralympic Committee for selection for the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games, which take place Aug. 7 to 15. Canada is expected to send approximately 220 athletes to the Games and has set a goal of finishing in the top three nations in the total medal count. Qualification is ongoing and the full team will be officially unveiled in July 2015.
“I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to the athletes named today to Canada’s sitting volleyball teams for the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games,” said The Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “I wish you good luck as you enter the final stages of your preparation and hope you enjoy the experience of competing at these Games at home during the Year of Sport in Canada.”
TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games tickets are currently on sale. Parapan Am events are expected to draw big crowds, particularly the sports of athletics, swimming, sitting volleyball, wheelchair basketball and wheelchair rugby. Tickets are available online at TORONTO2015.org/tickets.
Sitting Volleyball Rosters
Women’s National Team
Athlete Last Name
Athlete First Name
City
Position
Beauchesne
Chantal
Petawawa, ON
Attacker
Dolezar
Angelena
Edmonton, ON
Attacker
Fergusson
Anne
Carleton Place, ON
Attacker
Orr
Shacarra
Jaffray, BC
Setter
Peters
Heidi
Neerlandia, AB
Attacker
Popoff
Tessa
Langley, BC
Attacker
Skyrpan
Amber
Plamondon, AB
Attacker
Voss-Shafiq
Felicia
Burnaby, BC
Attacker
Wong
Jolan
Pembroke, ON
Setter
Wright
Katelyn
Edmonton, AB
Setter
Ban
Nicole
Edmonton, AB
Women’s Head Coach
Halliday
Ian
Calgary, AB
High Performance Director & Women’s Assistant Coach
Vickery
Lauren
Calgary, AB
Physiotherapist
Men’s National Team
Athlete Last Name
Athlete First Name
City
Position
Anderson
Jamoi
Brampton, ON
Attacker
Buckingham
Jesse George
Toronto, ON
Attacker
Gauthier
Raymond
Edmonton, AB
Attacker/ Libero
Hinchey
Austin
Edmonton, AB
Setter/ Attacker
Khanmohammad
Massoud
Richmond Hill, ON
Attacker
Learoyd
Douglas
Calgary, AB
Setter/ Attacker
Marchand
David
St. Albert, AB
Attacker
Matthews
Larry
Sturgeon County, AB
Attacker
Naval
Jason Conrad
Toronto, ON
Libero
Rebelo
José
Saint-Hubert, QC
Attacker
Tucker
Andrew
Toronto, ON
Attacker
Ward
Jesse
Calgary, AB
Attacker
Sewell
Raymond
Cochrane, AB
Men’s Head Coach
Shearme
Paul
Yellowknife, NWT
Men’s Assistant Coach
Fleming
Anne
Calgary, AB
Physiotherapist
MacDonald
Kerry
Calgary, AB
Team Manager (Parapan Am Games)
PHOTOGRAPHY: Media are invited to visit photos.paralympic.ca and create an account to be able to download high-resolution photos of Canadian Paralympic and Parapan Am athletes at any time, at no cost.
About Volleyball Canada
Volleyball Canada is the National Sport Organization for volleyball, and has approximately 64,000 members. Volleyball Canada fosters the growth and development of the sport in Canada, and oversees the national programs for indoor, beach and sitting volleyball.  For more information, see www.volleyball.ca
About the Canadian Paralympic Committee
The Canadian Paralympic Committee is a non-profit, private organization with 25 member sports organizations dedicated to strengthening the Paralympic Movement. The Canadian Paralympic Committee’s vision is to be the world’s leading Paralympic nation. Its mission is to lead the development of a sustainable Paralympic sport system in Canada to enable athletes to reach the podium at the Paralympic Games. By supporting Canadian high performance athletes with a disability and promoting their success, the Canadian Paralympic Committee inspires all Canadians with a disability to get involved in sport through programs delivered by its member organizations. For more information, visit www.paralympic.ca
-30-
Jackie Skender
Director, Communications
Volleyball Canada
Phone: 613-748-5681 ext. 226
Cell: 613 794 7676
jskender@volleyball.ca
Alison Korn
Senior Manager, Media Relations and Communications
Canadian Paralympic Committee
Cell: 613-298-4927
akorn@paralympic.ca
Martin Richard
Executive Director, Communications and Marketing
Canadian Paralympic Committee
Cell: 613-725-4339
mrichard@paralympic.ca

BRAMPTON – Jamoi Anderson of Brampton has earned a spot on Canada’s men’s sitting volleyball squad for the Parapan American Games this August in Toronto.

The 12-member Canadian team was named following a training camp and tournament last week in Montreal. Anderson plays attacker on the squad.

This is an important tournament for the Canadian squad. The men’s sitting volleyball squad needs to finish either first or second to Brazil to gain a berth at the 2016 Paralympics Games in Rio. Brazil has already qualified as the host country.

The Canadian men took the bronze at both the 2007 and 2011 Parapan American Games. The sitting volleyball teams are made up of athletes of various disabilities, such as amputations and spinal cord injuries. Players are seated and must keep contact with the floor at all times.

The Parapan American Games are scheduled for Aug. 7 to 15. Canada is expected to send a team of 220 athletes and has set a goal of finishing in the top three in the medal count.

First stop Toronto and next stop, Rio De Janeiro — that’s the planned trajectory for Edmonton Paralympian hopeful Austin Hinchey.

As a member of the Team Canada’s mens sitting volleyball team, the 23-year-old and soon-to-be NAIT graduate will be competing this summer at the Parapan Am Games in Toronto. While there, he hopes to qualify for the 2016 Summer Paralympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.

Hinchey said the team — which transitioned from playing standing to seated volleyball in 2008 — has come into their own and Rio De Janeiro is looking like more and more of a possibility.

“This is sort of our team peaking. We’re the best we’ve ever been and have a reasonable shot at (qualifying) this time,” said Hinchey, who competed in the 2011 Guadalajara Parapan Ams and placed third.

“Before, it’s been a little bit of a long shot and now we feel it’s a lot more realistic should be there.”

Born with brittle bone disease, Hinchey had his leg amputated below the knee just before he started Grade 6 after he kept on breaking it. Since then, he’s worn a prosthetic limb and high-performance foot on a daily basis, but ditches it for sitting volleyball.

Hinchey said he was always interested in sports, but was recruited by Team Canada playing able-bodied club volleyball at 16, and that’s where he’s been focusing his energy and training for the last seven years.

“After being in it for a while… that’s when (I) started setting more realistic goals with what I wanted to do with it,” he said. “Volleyball was just something I was best at and enjoyed the most.”

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