Richard Dobell, Claire Harvey, and Netra Rana selected for Paralympics Games.

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For Richard Dobell there is something quite ironic about being selected in Team GB’s sitting volleyball squad for the Paralympic Games.

The 45-year-old from Beckenham was at the top of the volleyball game with the England and Great Britain indoor and beach teams, earning more than 160 caps.

But several years ago his paralympic classification came through as a serious knee injury meant he was no longer able to compete in the able bodied version of the game, which has brought about an extension to his career.

“The irony of it is that it’s extended my career,” he said. “There are lots of cliches to describe being selected. It’s pretty special to go to a Paralympics and when you live in the London area it puts the icing on the cake.

“I have known about my selection for a couple of weeks now and it’s been difficult to keep it under wraps.”

Dobell captained the England indoor volleyball teams from 1987 to 2002 and competed on the international beach volleyball tour, and is believed to be the first ever player to compete at the highest international standard in all three volleyball disciplines.

He made his debut at the 2007 European Championships, competing against Latvia and he has since earned more than 28 GB caps.

He said he expects the tournament, which takes place from August 30, until September 8 at the ExCel Centre, to be a difficult one.

“It’s going to be a difficult tournament, but the squad has been together for four years now,” he said. “We are going to try to beat all the teams put in front of us.”

The county has two other players to have been selected for the side, including Gurkha Netra Rana, who lives in Folkestone. He has become a valuable member of the team in recent years, winning the Most Valuable Player award at the Continental Cup in 2011.

He said: “It has been a hard rehabilitation process for me but sitting volleyball has helped me physically and emotionally.

“I am very proud to be selected in the squad and I will be honoured to take to the court in the summer with my team mates to represent Great Britain and make my country and family proud.”

The third Kent name in the squad is Claire Harvey, who was born in Chatham but now lives in Ashford. The 36-year-old captained Scotland women’s rugby union side from 1994 to 1997 and gained more than 50 caps.



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