Antonina Zhuk’s transition from able-bodied volleyball to sitting volleyball within a mere six months is an indication of great adaptability and determination. Despite the relatively short period, Zhuk has made significant strides in embracing the nuances of the discipline and becoming one of the most important players in the Ukrainian women’s team.

In any sport, transitions can often be daunting, filled with uncertainty and challenges. For the seasoned volleyball player, her journey took a turn when a knee injury forced her to reevaluate her path. But as she embraced sitting volleyball, a new chapter emerged for her.

“I’ve been playing sitting volleyball for only six months. I have been playing classic volleyball almost all my life. I injured my knee and had to stop playing and transferred to sitting volleyball,” shared Zhuk, reflecting on the moment that redirected her athletic career.

“The feeling when handling the ball is OK for me, it’s similar. But to move very fast for me in sitting volleyball has been challenging.”

Amidst this struggle, she maintained a positive outlook, trusting that time will ease the adaptation process. Also, she is not alone in her journey, as the camaraderie within her team has been instrumental in her adjustment.

“From my first day in the team and until now, the girls have been trying to help me and share the techniques. The coaches are helping me a lot too,” she acknowledged.

On and off the court, the team’s support has been a constant source of encouragement, making each day’s progress more achievable.

“I stopped for a few years after playing volleyball. When I came here to sitting volleyball, it was an exciting feeling to be playing again,” she said. “I feel good because everyone is just so helpful. They always encourage me that I can do it.”

The support does not end within the team, but it extends to their sport leaders.

“Yesterday, the president of our Federation called us to express his support. It’s just incredible,” she revealed.

In their recent match against Iran, she and her team faced a formidable opponent.

“It was a physical match with Iran today. It was another five-set match for us,” she recounted.

Despite the challenges posed by their Asian rivals, they emerged victorious.


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