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Vote for Shacarra Orr!

Shacarra Orr - Vancouver Province
Shacarra Orr
— image credit: Vancouver Province

Opportunities keep presenting themselves for Shacarra Orr of Jaffray — no doubt a result of her perseverance and resilience.

Now in another tribute to the Fernie Secondary School student's resilience, the Vancouver Province newspaper has named Orr as a deserving nominee for their Head Of The Class readers' choice awards — in particular the BC Sports Adversity Award.

"I was just shocked when I heard about it," Orr told the Townsman. She said the Province had contacted her to inform her of her nomination." I was thankful and overwhelmed that someone would nominate me for this award."

On October 1, 2011, Orr — an avid volleyball player — was in a motor vehicle accident on her way to a volleyball tournament. The accident ended up leaving her with a permanent loss of mobility in her right arm. But with hard work and physiotherapy, Orr not only came back to be able to play and coach with limited mobility, but last year received an invitation to join Canada's National Sitting Volleyball Team.

"Sometimes I get taken aback with all the opportunities that have come through after everything I've been through," Orr said. "I'm really thankful for everything."

The Head of the Class Awards follow online vote process. As well as tribute to the nominees' resilience, the winner also gets  $500! The link to see the nominees and to vote is:  www.theprovincecontests.com/headoftheclass

The Province's contest page says: "Over the school year, coaches, parents, students and fans submitted nominations for Grade 12 students who participated in a high school sport during the 2013/2014 school year. These students were to have shown a positive attitude and determination in overcoming extraordinary personal challenges. Four finalists were selected from those submissions by The Province editorial department. Please read their stories below and vote for the finalist you feel deserves to win this award.

"The finalist with the most votes at 1 p.m. on May 22 will receive a $500 scholarship and a prize package that includes a $200 Subway Gift Card."

The four nominees in the BC Sports Adversity Award are: Shacarra Orr (Fernie Secondary School), Sean Paulsen (Pitt Meadows Secondary), Jordan Sidoo (St. George's School) and Amanda Zacharuk (New Westminster Secondary).

In the meantime, Orr is busy enough with the National Team's activities.

"We've just got a new head coach, and a new assistant," she said. "So we're really stepping things up. We've got a few new girls on the team and we're planning to go to competition right away. Toronto, next year in 2015, and then maybe Europe — we're working on that.

"Selection camps are coming up at the end of the month. That's what I've been training all year for. That determines if you're on the competitive strand, or the improvement strand, or if you get carding."

Orr was offered a spot on the competitive team last year.

In sitting volleyball, a 0.8 metre-wide net is set at 1.15 metres high for men and 1.05 metres high for women. The court is 10 by 6 metres with a two-metre attack line. The rules are basically the same as regular volleyball.  It is a sport for athletes with disabilities, though there are no athlete classifications by disability.

"The net is lower, the court is a bit slower," Orr has told the Townsman in an earlier interview. "But in standing volleyball you can just run to the ball, in sitting, the movements to get to the ball are way harder. We spend way more time on movement."

According to the rules, players must have at least part of their bottoms on the ground at all times, or their stomach.

The ultimate focus is the 2016 Paralympics in Brazil.

That's our main goal," Orr said. "Our try-outs are in Toronto, when we go there in 2015. All the work we're doing now is for that."

So things are heating up for Orr and the national team, with training in Calgary and selections in Toronto.

"We're going to be travelling quite a lot, but the girls are so awesome, and it's just so much fun."

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