Volleyball and beach volleyball had a wonderful year in 2016. Now it is time for us to do even better. Please accept my best wishes for the year ahead on behalf of all of us at the FIVB.
With the FIVB Volleyball World Championships in Japan and Italy and Bulgaria in 2018 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games just beyond, we have a wonderful year to look forward to, with so many opportunities to show the best of our sport.
The highlights of our year will be the big competitions, the FIVB Volleyball World League, World Grand Prix, FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships as well as the next Club World Championships, Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup and Age-Group World Championships. But every day, there are players, coaches, officials and administrators who are working to develop new talent, to bring our sport to new places and to new families. Every part of this puzzle must work together, must work hard and with imagination, if we are to achieve our ambition of becoming the world’s number one family sport entertainment. Always, we must ask ourselves: is there more we can do, is there something new that will help?
For the 2017 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships we will go to Vienna for the first time, where I know we can look forward to big, passionate crowds of fans. We will have fan activities around a state-of-the art stadium and we will see exciting competition in a festival atmosphere better than ever.
The 2017 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix will now feature a record 32 teams showcasing the development of the competition and providing more countries around the world with the opportunity to participate. This year the FIVB has also tripled the prize money for the winner to show how our sport will continue to reward those who are prepared to work harder than everybody else.
The FIVB World League will equal the record of 36 teams and the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix will now feature a record 32 teams. We will support every level of the sport: from the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup to the FIVB Men’s and Women’s Club World Championships, and the FIVB Age-Group World Championships.
To create all of these opportunities has taken and will continue to take a huge amount of work from an FIVB team that I am incredibly proud of, and that we should all be proud of. The FIVB will provide opportunities to shine. But they are nothing without strong teams and players.
Now it is up to the federations to take advantage of these very special opportunities, to prepare and send their very best players and officials. For those who are willing to work hard, the FIVB is always ready to help and support, with seminars for coaches and for officials and with technical assistance. Our own FIVB teams will also cross the world supporting the federations who are determined to grow our sport and to build on our successes. Working together in this way, I know we can make a great success of 2017. I look forward to working with you.
FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°