Saturday, 13 April 2024

Para Volleyball

Mover & Shaker | Fernando Guimarães (BRA)

Mover & Shaker | Fernando Guimarães (BRA)

Fernando Guimarães influence on Sitting Volleyball in Brazil goes far beyond the court.  He is an advocate, a motivator, a leader and a spokesperson for the sport on many different levels.  As far as we can see, he is the only coach who in the same world championship put both teams on the podium, the men with the bronze medal and the women with the gold medal – quite an achievement.  Nationally he is an eight times Brazilian Champion and two times best Brazilian Paralympic Coach.  …and he is not finished yet!

1 – How did you get involved in Sitting Volleyball?

I am a Physiotherapist who has been working with hippotherapy in Brazil for 35 years who is also level IV volleyball coach (the highest degree in Brazil).  Previously I was a professional volleyball player who played in Brazil and abroad.  I was a reasonable player, but I played alongside the best players of my time. When I stopped playing in 1998, I started working with José Roberto Guimarães (my brother – he was a great player) on high-performance teams, as a physiotherapist and assistant coach. 

Through 2005/2006/2007 I worked with the Brazilian women’s volleyball team, also with José Roberto.  At the same, I coached women’s master volleyball teams for ten years.  Then in 2007, the president of CBVD, Amauri Ribeiro, invited me to get to know the sport more closely.  He thought that with the experience I had gained in hippotherapy and standing volleyball, I could help develop sitting volleyball in Brazil.  So in 2009 I started my career as a sitting volleyball coach.

2 – What is it that motivates you each day to further develop our sport?

What motivates me is seeing how sports can promote the lives of people with some type of disability.

3 – What has been your biggest achievement in Sitting Volleyball to date?

My greatest achievement is seeing my players’ desire to live.   Seeing in the eyes of each one, that sitting volleyball brought them back to life. That’s what moves me! That’s what keeps me going!

4 – What advice would you give to someone wanting to develop Sitting Volleyball in their region?

I advise everyone who wants to work or develop sitting volleyball, to study, to work hard, to realize that it’s not just about winning or losing. That the sport goes beyond that. That the responsibility of training individuals is much more important than training athletes. The inclusion of a person who has some type of physical disability in society…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at World ParaVolley…