Mover & Shaker | Nello Calleja (MLT)

Driving the sport forwards in his country!

1 – How did you get involved in Sitting Volleyball?

I got to know about Sitting Volleyball whilst speaking with Ute Maria Fischer, an International Volleyball and Sitting Volleyball referee from Germany during a tournament in 2010.  I immediately started researching about it and within a couple of months I had made contact with ECVD (now ParaVolley Europe) and WOVD (now World ParaVolley).  I attended the refereeing course held in Sarajevo in May 2011 and from then on I tried to involve myself as much as possible, not only by refereeing in tournaments, but also by founding ParaVolley Malta, with the aim of promoting and raising awareness about this wonderful sport in my little island.  Until now it has been quite an adventure, but much more needs to be done until more people, especially those who would qualify to take part in a tournament under World ParaVolley rules, get to know about it and start practicing it.

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

The belief that this is a wonderful sport which could easily be played really by everyone, whatever the physical condition.  In these five years I’ve met some wonderful people who could have easily stayed at home moaning about their condition, but instead chose to use their abilities to the full.  My wish is to give this same opportunity to all those in my country who for some reason or another have a different ability and who would like to practice this discipline.

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

As a referee, my involvement in the World Championships held in Poland in 2014.  On another note, I was honoured to be asked by the Italian Volleyball Federation to promote sitting volleyball during the 1st International Sitting Volley Tournament held in Cagliari earlier this year, during which the Italian men’s national team participated in its first ever international tournament.

4 – How would you explain Sitting Volleyball to someone in 12 words or less?

The real volleyball for all.

5 – Where/how do you see Sitting Volleyball in 10 years time?

I hope that in 10 years’ time, Sitting Volleyball would have gained in popularity in Malta, and that it would have become the number 1 Paralympic sport in my island.   Worldwide, I’m sure that with all the effort being put in by various people, it will continue to increase in popularity and achieve results which until now are only dreamed of.


The ‘Movers & Shakers’ initiative is aimed at giving more recognition to those that are developing Sitting Volleyball around the globe.

It can be anyone working in the sport, whether they have excelled at promoting it, ran a successful competition, started a new club/activity, organised events to increase awareness, influenced people for the greater benefit of the sport or a combination of the above.

Please do let us know if you know of someone who deserves to be highlighted by e-mailing with the following:

  • Full name
  • e-mail address
  • Country in which they mainly work
  • A short justification of why you are putting them forward

Their story will also offer others a chance for others to learn from their good practise and use what works in their area for even greater benefit.  This is your chance to give recognition to those who promote and build the sport of sitting volleyball.  We look forward to hearing from you.