James Roberts: Team GB, Sitting Volleyball (2012)

James Roberts, Paralympic Volleyball player, MSc Sports Science

Many University of Chester students have spent their summer at home, working ahead of the new term, or partying in the Costa Del Sol.

James Roberts, 25, a Sociology of Sport (MSc) student represented Team GB in the Paralympics. The 25 year old former rower previously participated at the Beijing 2008 games where he finished fifth in the mixed double sculls adaptive rowing event making him the only member of the sitting volleyball team at London 2012 games to have previous Paralympic experience.

What makes sitting volleyball a fantastic sport?

“I started sitting volleyball in October 2009. What makes it such a fantastic sport is it can be played both able bodied and disabled people at a domestic level. But for me, internationally it would have to be the speed of the game.”

The London 2012 Paralympic games is the most successful on record for Team GB, what made the difference do you think?

“With having the venues full every time team GB played it really helped and the atmosphere would have been one of the factors to making both teams to be the most successful.”

What do you think the games will achieve in furthering awareness of disability and sport?

“It will change peoples perceptions of Paralympic sport. Lord Coe said at the end of the closing ceremony ‘we will never think of sport in the same way and we will never think of disability the same way.”