By Tom Degun

faryl_smith_06-07-11July 7 - Classical singer and finalist of hit television show Britain's Got Talent Faryl Smith will open the European Committee Volleyball for Disabled (ECVD) men's Continental Cup at The National Volleyball Centre in Kettering next Monday (July 11).

Top sitting volleyball players from 11 international teams around the world will compete at the six-day tournament and Smith will open the tournament with a live vocal performance at 1pm before Britain take on Brazil at 2pm in the opening game of the event.

Smith wowed audiences across the country in 2008 with her performance of "Ave Maria" on ITV's show and went on to become 2009's Classical Performer of the Year and Classic Brit nominee.

Now 15-years-old, she has performed at numerous high profile events including 2009 and 2010's FA Cup Final and England's Six Nations match against France at Twickenham in 2009 but she revealed her recent appointment to open the ECVD Continental Cup in her home town is particularly dear to her heart.

"To see such talented international athletes coming to compete in Kettering is really exciting and I am proud to be a part of an event of this calibre in my home town," said Smith.

"This is a great opportunity for the people to experience sport of such a standard and what better time to be involved than the lead up to 2012."

The men's Continental Cup is one of four international events organised by the European Committee Volleyball for Disabled (ECVD) in 2011 and the only one to be held in England.

The tournament is one of the last major international sitting volleyball tournaments ahead of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, while the teams confirmed to compete at the event are Bosnia, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Egypt, China, Russia and USA.

"It is a great honour for England to host such a large event a year prior to the Paralympic Games in London and provides an excellent opportunity for the National Volleyball Centre in Kettering to be at the heart of our sport," said Lisa Wainwright, the chief executive of Volleyball England.

"We are very grateful and excited that Faryl Smith will be opening the tournament, helping us to demonstrate our aims to deliver world class events.

"Sitting volleyball is growing from strength to strength and this tournament will be another opportunity for the Great Britain team to demonstrate the progress they are making."

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