Gurkha rifleman Rana in GB sitting volleyball squad
KATHMANDU, June 22: Netra Rana, a Gurkha rifleman who sustained multiple injuries in an IED explosion in Afghanistan, has been selected to play for the Great Britain sitting volleyball team that will participate in the London Paralympic 2012, the British Paralympic Association (BPA) announced on Wednesday.
Rana, originally from west Nepal, sustained multiple injuries on January 21, 2008 when an IED explosion hit his vehicle south of Kandahar.
Rana, Lance Corporal of the First Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles, has been training with the squad for several months after the team´s coach saw him play for the Ministry of Defense´s Battle Back team for wounded, injured and sick personnel.
“I used to play volleyball back in my village in Nepal, but hadn´t played since then until I was offered the opportunity at the Defense Medical Rehabilitation Unit as part of my rehab, and it went from there," army.mod.uk quoted Rana.
Rana, 28 years old, has termed his inclusion on the GB squad as the ´big, big achievement´.
“It has been a hard rehabilitation process for me but sitting volleyball has helped me physically and emotionally," said the Nepal-born Briton to the Channel 4, the host broadcaster of the London Paralympics. "I am very proud to be selected into the squad and I will be honored to take to the court in the summer with my team mates to represent Great Britain and make my country and family proud."
Likewise, Rana told BBC in an interview that the upcoming Paralympics is a new start to his life. "Good opportunity after injury. I´m starting new life with the sport," said Rana in an audiovisual interview for bbc.co.uk.
According to kentsport.org, Rana was the part of the GB team for the European Sitting Volleyball Championships in 2011 and he competed for the GB men´s team in the Continental Cup, where he won MVP award.
Rana, who plays as a libero, said that the upcoming London Paralympics would be once in a lifetime opportunity for him.
Among his teammates for London Paralympics are Charlie Walker, a former bomb disposal officer who lost his legs after contracting meningitis and Richard Dobell, believed to be the only player in volleyball history to have represented Great Britain in all three disciplines of indoor, beach and sitting versions of the game.