Paralympians Sadegh Bigdeli of Iran and Heidi Peters of Canada belong to the second group of elected athletes who will join the representatives of ParaVolley Europe, ParaVolley Africa and ParaVolley Pan America in the WPV Athletes’ Commission. Bigdeli and Peters will serve as the PVAO Representative and Global Representative, respectively.
“On behalf of World ParaVolley I am pleased that we have a second group of elected athletes who are prepared to volunteer their time to become engaged with World ParaVolley. The worldwide trend of IFs is for greater athlete focus and World ParaVolley commenced this process in 2018 when the Constitution was adjusted to include athletes on the Board of Directors and a little later when the Athletes’ Commission was established,” WPV President Barry Couzner OAM said.
“I look forward to hearing their point of view during our deliberations as I am sure that the athletes have a positive perspective to bring to the table. I would like to thank the outgoing athletes who have served on the Athletes’ Commission and to particularly acknowledge Jose Rebelo (CAN) as Team Leader of the Commission for his valuable contributions.”
“I am truly happy to see so many athletes wanting to be involved in the development of their sport. World ParaVolley’s athletes will be in good hands with these new additions,” outgoing Athletes’ Commission Team Leader José Rebelo added.
Three-time Paralympic gold medallist Bigdeli topped the elections for PVAO representative with 14 votes over his compatriot Masoumeh Zarei Barouti. The online election was held from September 6-9 and had a 38 per cent voter turnout compared to the 50 per cent in 2019.
“I am very pleased to be a member of the World ParaVolley Athletes’ Commission as a representative of all paravolley athletes of ParaVolley Asia-Oceania. I hope with the cooperation of other members of the commission, my experience can be a good and fruitful activity for the development of sitting volleyball in the world. Without a doubt, we will be the voice of all players around the world to lead our excited sport in the top. Thank you to all who voted for me at this election,” Bigdeli responded.
Peters prevailed with 61 votes over three other candidates – Federico Blanc of Italy, Masoumeh Zarei Barouti of Iran and Samet Yilmaz of Türkiye – to become the Global Representative. The election was also held online from September 13-16 and had a 39 per cent voter turnout compared to the 58 per cent in 2019.
“I am very honoured to be elected as the fifth member of World ParaVolley Athletes’ Commission. It means a lot to me that my fellow athletes trust and support me to represent them. I am excited to be a voice within our organisation and to help grow the sport of paravolley,” Peters stated.