World ParaVolley has recognised 12 pioneers for their contributions to the sport ©Getty Images

World ParaVolley has awarded honorary life membership to 12 of the sport's pioneers who contributed to the foundation and future development of the discipline. 

The recipients were recognised with the highest award to celebrate International World ParaVolley Day last month.

The award has recently been created by the organisation's Board, and follows research on the various efforts made by the pioneers.

Suggestions are analysed by the Awards Committee, led by Life member Denis Le Breuilly, before approval by the Board of World ParaVolley. 

"This acknowledgement of the tremendous work by the pioneers of ParaVolley illustrates clearly that the current volunteers inherited a sport and a sustainable International Federation that was planned, delivered and developed by others before them," said Barry Couzner, World ParaVolley President.

"It is significant that several former athletes are represented, and the fields of administration, governance, coaching and development are featured."

Pieter Joon, Jenni Cole, Anita Goltnik-Urnaut, Athanasios Papageorgiou, Gordon Neale OBE, Hadi Rezaiegarkani, John Kessel, Jouke de Haan, Sverre Bergenholdt, Rajko Vute, Wayne Hellquist and Marie-Therese Scholtens are the honoured pioneers. 

Many of them contributed to the growth and development of both the sitting and standing volleyball disciplines.

All honorary life members will receive not only a certificate, but also a special pin in due course at selected special occasions.