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FERNANDO GUIMARAES (BRA)                              BRAZIL MEN COACH

'Actually, I come from the Olympic volleyball. My brother is coach of the women's national standing volleyball team, José Alberto Guimarães, the only person, considering all sports in Brasil to win in three Olympic Games. I have been, during some years, assisting my brother with his professional teams and also in the Brazil national team. I was also a player domestically in Brazil and I have played professionally in Austria as well.


Amauri, president of the Brasilian confederation of sitting volleyball has been inviting me since a long time ago, because, besides Volleyball I am also a physiotherapist and I work with horse-riding.  I am the first one to do that in Brazil.  For 25 years I have been working with people with a physical disability and horse riding.   Amauri had the opinion that I was the ideal person because I have been working with volleyball and people with physical disabilities all my life.


In 2009, the opportunity came to finally be involved in Sitting Volleyball. But I always say that I have not invented anything new. I have adapted a model of working that has been working in Olympic volleyball to sitting volleyball and we have been fairly successful. Our progress has been excellent. In 3 years, we have developed a lot and at the moment we can beat teams which we could not beat some years ago: such as China, Egypt, Germany, even Iran….


Regarding my advice for new coaches, I believe that the essential is to do our work with love. Paralympic volleyball does not hold popularity, therefore no one can start working expecting to win a lot of money and thinking (s)he’s going to be famous, and that it is going to be like it is in conventional sport, because it won’t.


I also believe that it is our first responsibility as educators, to drive our team with our example, our character, as parents, which almost all of us are, as men, always trying to practice in a good way. When you seed the good, you collect the good. The main lesson is that the group always have the priority. The group has to be very cohesive, very united, we have to give support to the team so that players can come to these competitions and give everything they have, along with developing what they learn and develop during the preparation.'