If Italy win gold at the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship in the Netherlands and Poland this October, Paola Egonu will certainly play a role. The Italian opposite is one of the top opposites in the world and an inspiration for teammates and fans alike.

"It's an honour for me to be a role model for people," says Egonu. "As I inspire them and I give them courage and hope, and whatever the subject may be, I also get the courage to keep going."

Egonu has joined other leading volleyball players in support of the Equal Jersey initiative, which uses the power of volleyball to highlight the importance of equality.

I'm happy I have this opportunity to speak for those who can't and who don't have the possibility to be heard. Paola Egonu

You too can support the Equal Jersey initiative by getting your own here.

The Equal Jerseys are available to volleyball fans with part of the proceeds going directly to Let’s Keep The Ball Flying, the non-profit organisation which promotes equality, education, inclusion and empowerment, boosting equal access through the power of volleyball.

European champions Italy play their last World Championship Phase 1 match on Sunday against co-hosts the Netherlands. Phase 2 of the competition begins on Tuesday.