Langley women off to Rio with Paralympic team

Tessa Popoff and Danielle Ellis were among the dozen women nominated by Volleyball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee

A pair of Langley women have been nominated for the Paralympic Games in Rio as members of Canada’s sitting women’s volleyball team.

Tessa Popoff and Danielle Ellis were among the dozen women nominated by Volleyball Canada and the Canadian Paralympic Committee on July 8.

The Rio Paralympic Games run Sept. 7 to 18.

Both women were born in White Rock, grew up in Surrey and now live in Langley.

This is the first time Canada has qualified for the Paralympic Games in sitting volleyball. It debuted in 2004.

“By qualifying for and competing at the Paralympic Games in women’s sitting volleyball, we have reached a new level of excellence,” said Ian Halliday, the Sitting Volleyball high performance director for Volleyball Canada.

“This team has showed tremendous fortitude and perseverance to reach a common goal.”

Popoff, who turns 31 on July 15, is a returning member of the team, having helped Canada finish third at last summer’s Parapan American Games.

A car accident when she was 18 resulted in her right arm amputated below the elbow.

Gary Ahuja Langley Times file photo

Tessa Popoff has followed the motto on the wall of her childcare centre in Langley.

She now owns and operates the Learning Circle, a childcare centre in Langley.

Ellis, who turns 25 in November, returns to the national team program after taking a few years off.

She lost her right leg below the knee due to cancer as an infant.

Ellis was on the national team from 2008 to 2012 before taking time off to study to become a paramedic.

She now works with B.C. Ambulance in Langley.

More to come.

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