|Volleyball Ireland have published their first quarterly report of 2020, which shows a significant increase in registered junior players compared to the same period of last year.|
As many as 227 under 18s have active player licenses compared with the end of March 2019, which is mainly due to the fantastic development work carried out in clubs across the country. The newly formed youth national leagues at U18 and U16 level for girls are driving participation as well.
Commenting on the data, General Manager Gary Stewart said, “The Q1 participation report shows that the investment in proper youth competitions is paying off. Not only that, there is clearly an improvement in the standard of youth players coming through which means that the average age of players in the adult national league competition is coming down. There are lots of elements that contribute to this, including quality school programmes, proactive clubs, a progressive youth national team programme and decent coach education courses and workshops.”
A chunk of the youth participation is related to a new Beginner Club Tour that the Volleyball Ireland Development team had planned for March in Limerick, which had almost 50 U13s registered. The week after, the first national boys’ competition also had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
With this in mind, Volleyball Ireland are hosting a webinar on youth section development this coming Thursday at 8pm (See http://www.volleyballireland.com/webinar-series.html#/).
It will be interesting to see what impact the coronavirus situation will have on the figures this time next year, Gary added. “For obvious reasons, we have not opened the beach registration yet which is skewing figures slightly. Also it is worth noting that the number of licensed referees has reduced, so this is an area we need to address quickly and the team working with the Education & Training Commission are planning some new initiatives ahead of the new season.”
Away from the court, the marketing and promotion of Volleyball is improving with a 37% increase in digital followers, mainly driven through additional creative content and an increase in the streaming of various events.
After chairing a meeting of the CEV Board of Administration late last week resulting in the approval of a ‘Marshall Plan’ for European Volleyball worth € 11.5 million, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić has taken the time to pen an open letter to all Volleyball fans. It encourages fans to stick together – just like members of the same Volleyball team – and to look after each other, while inviting them to come forward and share with the CEV their ideas and suggestions, as the Volleyball family works hard to overcome the coronavirus crisis and to support all stakeholders in the best possible way.
This is the full text of the letter:
Dear Volleyball Fans,
I very much hope that this message finds you and your loved ones in good health and high spirits.
We are going through an unprecedented crisis since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which has brought competitive sport, among other things, to a complete standstill across the globe.
I acknowledge that we at the CEV share your very same feelings; we miss, as much as you do, competitive Volleyball, and I know that many of you cannot wait to join your friends and keep the ball flying again.
But for the time being we have to be patient and make the best use of what we have learned from our beloved sport: the sense of sticking together, working as team, while showing solidarity and compassion for one another. Therefore, I trust that you are using this time to look after your family and friends, supporting each other through these challenging times – as one team.
With much regret, we had to take tough decisions and to cancel various competitions due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, among others the much-anticipated Champions League Volley Super Finals in Berlin. Believe me, it has been a very difficult call for us, but the well-being and safety of players, coaches and all of you remain our priority.
Meanwhile, I can assure you that the CEV is working tirelessly together with all our stakeholders to manage the effects of the crisis, but also to make sure that we are ready to re-start the engine of our activities once conditions allow and it is safe for everyone to do so.
I hope that you have been enjoying the work we have done through social media in order to engage with you and to help you pass the time you are spending at home with some Volleyball and quite a bit of fun.
The CEV remains open for any comments, suggestion and proposal you may have, the CEV would be happy to receive your feedback.
As I share everyone’s hope that life comes back to normal as soon as possible, I would like to reassure you that there is no virus or adversity that can extinguish the fire of passion that makes our hearts beat for Volleyball!
Stay safe and healthy until we can meet again!
With my best personal regards,
In a time where many would normally be making the final tweaks to their domestic Beach Volleyball programme before it gets underway in May, the Scottish Volleyball Association (SVA) are instead using these days to reflect on what they have achieved as a sport with the help of the Team Scotland media team.
Over the last few weeks, Beach Volleyball has featured heavily in Team Scotland’s Sports Focus Spotlight. They have been looking back at everything from the first players in history to represent Team Scotland on the world stage at the Commonwealth Youth Games Bahamas 2017 to further history making with the senior team success in the sports debut at the Commonwealth Games, at the Gold Coast 2018.
Team Scotland spoke to Emma Waldie and Jenny Lee, who represented Scotland at the Youth Games in 2017 (see Facebook video here) as well as to the senior Commonwealth Games athletes (Melissa Coutts, Lynne Beattie, Robin Miedzybrodzki and Seain Cook) about their experiences at the Gold Coast, what it meant to them and what their favourite memories are.
For Robin and Seain’s account of their Gold Coast experience, read the full article here.
To find out about what the Gold Coast meant to Lynne and Melissa, read the full article here.
Further to this international success, the SVA have been working closely with the British Volleyball Federation and the other home nations, to build a case for Beach Volleyball at the performance level going forward to Birmingham 2022 and beyond. This work is ongoing, and they hope it will only present further opportunities for future generations of Scottish athletes to follow in the footsteps of previous Commonwealth Games athletes.
It is important to recognise that the success the Scottish Beach Volleyball community has had is not only at the playing level. There has been great success with Jamie Salvin as well, completing his qualifications to become an international beach referee officiating at FIVB, CEV and Zonal competitions all over the world, with this also contributing heavily to putting Scotland on the international Beach Volleyball map.
It has been inspiring to look back at these insights and successes, but this is only the beginning. “What we have achieved so far will be used as a platform to launch our sport to the next level with Birmingham 2022 and other exciting opportunities on the horizon. This means working to develop, not only our performance pathways, but also our club and community engagement where we are steadily building demand and capacity in our sport for all levels and abilities,” says Lynne Beattie.
A great example of this is the inception of a brand new beach volleyball club in Ayrshire. West Coast Beach Volleyball (WCBV) have followed in the footsteps of Edinburgh Beach Volleyball club in the East of the country who have seen a massive surge in interest for Beach Volleyball at a community level, at their permanent hub in Portobello.
As a governing body, the Scottish Volleyball Association are also involved in some fantastic ‘Changing Lives’ project work in Edinburgh, aimed at breaking down the barriers that some communities face to sports participation, as well as using sport intentionally to support skills development opportunities for young people, encouraging positive destinations when they leave school.
Further to the coronavirus pandemic and to the extensive measures adopted by national authorities to curb the spread of the disease, the CEV and the respective organisers have agreed to postpone two Beach Volleyball events initially scheduled for early June.
This applies to the 2020 edition of #EuroBeachVolleyU22 due to take place in Vlissingen (NED) from June 3 to 7. The Dutch authorities have cancelled all public events up until May 31, meaning there would be no time and the necessary guarantees for the tournament to take place as per the original plans. The CEV and the Dutch Volleyball Federation A(Nevobo) together with the local Organising Committee have agreed to hold the competition from September 2 to 6, 2020 instead, with no changes to the original venue in the city of Vlissingen.
Moreover, the relevant parties have agreed to postpone the 1-Star World Tour event scheduled for June 12-14 in Ios Island, Greece and to do so until further notice. The event was the second such tournament to take place in Ios after last year’s successful premiere. The organisers are hopeful they could deliver the event later this year if conditions allow.
The CEV continues to monitor the development of the COVID-19 pandemic in close cooperation with all of its stakeholders, with the well-being and health of everyone associated with the sport as its primary concern.
On Monday, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić will attend the release of two new Faroese stamps with Volleyball motives to celebrate 125 years since the ‘invention’ of Volleyball in the USA by William G. Morgan. Mr Boričić is himself is a passionate philatelist and has won several gold medals from international stamp exhibitions.
“Volleyball is in my heart, but stamps are my hobby,” Mr Boričić told Faroese Radio FM1. “It is very exciting to attend any ceremony for the unveiling of new stamps, but even more when it is about Volleyball stamps.”
The CEV President will deliver a short address, as Mr Magnus Tausen, President of the Faroese Volleyball Association, will do as well.
The presentation is taking place at the shopping mall SMS in Tórshavn, the Faroese capital, and live streaming will be available here. The transmission will start at 16:00 local time – 17:00 CET, and the actual ceremony will get underway at 16:30 local time. During the event, a children’s volleyball tournament will take place at the very same venue as well.
Furthermore, the Faroese Volleyball Association will be delivering an exhibition with Volleyball photos from past to present. The Faroese Volleyball Association was founded on April 1, 1980 and therefore it will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. However, the first Faroese Volleyball national championship was held a way further back in 1969.
CEV President Aleksandar Boričić is currently paying a truly historic visit to the Gibraltar Volleyball Association. The CEV President arrived on the Rock on Monday afternoon following several productive discussions and meetings with Emma Labrador, President of the Gibraltar Volleyball Association.
Ms Labrador accompanied the CEV President during his stay, with the agenda including meetings with a number of high-level authorities, such as the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Mr Fabian Picardo (pictured above), the Minister of Sport, Culture, Heritage and Youth, Mr Steven Ernest Linares, and the CEO of the Gibraltar Leisure and Sports Activity (GSLA), Reagan Lima.
It is a matter of great prestige for Gibraltar to host the CEV President and FIVB 2nd Executive Vice-President, who during his stay visited the Volleyball and Beach Volleyball facilities available at the Rock. The visit of the CEV President is further testament to the attention that Gibraltar Volleyball is receiving following the successful organisation of last year’s Island Games, where Beach Volleyball was one of the most successful sports on the programme in terms of media coverage and attendance.
The Gibraltar Volleyball Association is a member of the Small Countries Association (SCA) and they joined the CEV back in 1984.
On Friday, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić had the pleasure of holding cordial talks with the newly elected President of the Malta Volleyball Association (MVA), Mr Edward Gatt and the MVA Vice-President, Mr Branko Vlahović, at the CEV President Office in Belgrade.
It was a truly precious opportunity to strengthen the cooperation with the highest authorities from the Mediterranean archipelago, in particular due to the problems Malta has experienced for a while, especially in terms of lack of Volleyball activities. With the help of their new leadership, the Malta Volleyball Association have drafted ambitious plans to initiate a number of projects and activities, especially the CEV School Project, with a focus on the further development of Volleyball in schools.
The MVA wish to work closely with younger coaches and physical education teachers, and the development of Beach Volleyball stands out as the most important part of their planned activities. This should also involve gradual involvement and participation in international events, while the organisation of some Beach Volleyball tournaments and age-group events is well under consideration too.
President Gatt expressed his gratitude for the meeting hosted by the CEV President, for the time spent in good and fruitful talks and said he very much looks forward to strengthening the cooperation with the CEV even further in the near future.
CEV and the Malta Volleyball Association wish to work together not only on the promotion of international cooperation, but also to make sure that the support provided by government, regional and local authorities can help grow Volleyball in Malta at a much faster pace than it has happened this far.
A prestigious FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 1-Star event will be taking place in Bettystown, County Meath over the weekend of July 17-19, 2020. The successful bid comes on the back of the hosting of Pool C of the CEV Continental Cup at the same venue last June. The execution of that Olympic qualifying event means Ireland will make its World Tour hosting debut this year, joining the likes of Moscow, Cancun and Rome on the 2020 Tour programme.
The tournament will be men’s only, featuring some of the best players in the world ahead of the Summer Olympics. It will also re-unite the top Irish pairing of Oisin McArdle and Alex Gibbons (pictured) who are very much looking forward to the support of the Irish crowds. “I am delighted that Ireland will host the 1-Star event, it’s the best buzz to play in front of a home crowd. I cannot wait to get back on Irish sand in July. I have been training hard in Australia over the winter with some top players and hopefully I can bring this form into the Irish summer,” Gibbons said.
The tournament will include a qualification on Day 1 (Friday 17 July), before the main draw kicks off on the Saturday.
Volleyball Ireland President Grainne Culliton added, “These events are a key part of our strategy to raise the profile of the sport, and to inspire the next generation of players. Our volunteers really put on a great show at last year’s Olympic qualifier and this success is down to them. We are grateful for the trust that the CEV and FIVB are putting in us, and we cannot wait to go again. Events like this really show we are serious about developing the sport, and they allow us to build great relationships with our partners like Meath County Council and we are appreciative of their continued support.”
Volleyball Ireland will be working with Meath County Council to develop a range of development activities around the competition, including the launch of a new Social Volley programme for beginner players and a Beach Volleyball camp for juniors.
Commenting on the news, Meath Cllr Sharon Tolan added, “I am delighted that Bettystown Beach will host its second international Beach Volleyball Tournament. Events like this really bring alive the area and we hope that all of our local residents, businesses and visitors can get involved in a wonderful weekend showing off a beautiful stretch of our coastline.”
Last year’s event drew excellent crowds to the 500-seater pop up stadium and surrounding dunes, gaining widespread media interest both locally and nationally.
Securing an event of such magnitude is testament to the hard work, vision and ambition of Volleyball Ireland.
Many people still remember – and they do so fondly – February 29, 2016. It was a truly historic day for Volleyball when more than 49,000 people participated in #1DayMore4Volleyball playing as many as 4,500 matches across 551 cities all over Europe in 901 different venues! The 2020 edition will be taking the original concept to the next level, with the action due to take place in conjunction with the next leap day, i.e. February 29, 2020. The aim is to increase participation and to account for as much exposure and visibility as possible, to make it a viral theme on social media.
As the name suggests, it is all about ‘one day for Volleyball’, where our sport will be taking centre stage and inspire especially the younger ones to play the game and live a healthy lifestyle.
Back in 2016, this action involved 28 of the 56 CEV member federations with exhibition matches up to the symbolic mark of 29 points organised and played from the Russian Far East to Gibraltar, thereby involving schools, professional and amateur players, young and old, and even the national men’s Sitting Volleyball teams of Italy and Poland.
Poland and Serbia were the countries recording the highest number of participants, accounting for some 15,000 and 12,000, respectively. Even the staff working at the CEV headquarters in Luxembourg joined #1DayMore4Volleyball, playing one Volleyball and one Sitting Volleyball match against their colleagues of the Luxembourg Volleyball Federation!
Further information is available at the official website https://1daymore4volleyball.cev.eu where you can sign up and vie for one of the many valuable prizes at stake!
This time around, the action will get started with the help of star players from all three disciplines – Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Snow Volleyball – who have taken on a truly unique and entertaining #VolleySkillChallenge. The challenge emphasises one of the truly unique features of Volleyball – since you can play the ball by using your entire body, from your feet to the knees all the way up to the final hit, as you can see here:
We invite all Volleyball lovers to join us and make February 29, 2020 a real, unprecedented ‘Volleyball party’!
8 teams compete in 12 games over 3 days at the start of 2020, this means it is Novotel Cup time again.
This means a first determination of the location of the Luxembourg teams. After the games of the small states in Montenegro, a lot has happened, especially with the men.
The new coach Pompiliu Dascalu took over the helm in September and has to give up some regular players. Oli de Castro, Domnik Husi, Jan Lux and Arnaud Maroldt are no longer available for the national team. Full-time pro Kamil Rychlicki is missing from the Novotel Cup due to commitments with his club Lube Civitanove, Gilles Braas, Anthony Schumacher and Tim Laevaert and Maurice van Landeghem are out injured.
The core of the team consists of Chris Zuidberg, Max Funk, Mateja Gajin, Steve Weber and Philippe Glesener. They are completed by numerous youth players as well as Yannick Erpelding and Routinier Roman Richtarik.
Expectations should therefore not be set too high as the team has yet to find itself through the tournament.
For the ladies, the starting position is much better. Compared to the JPEE and the SCA tournament last year, “only” some changes have been made to the middle blocker position. The team around captain Isabelle Frisch will also be strengthened with the Walfer player Hana Cubonova.
Carla Mulli, from the Dutch top division club Huizen, is in the squad, but is unlikely to be used after her knee surgery. Also injured is main attacker Betty Hoffmann (back).
The RedLion Ladies are certainly looking for revenge for the bitter defeat at the JPEE against Iceland. England will be a benchmark for the future as the Vleminckx-Huibers/Schanet coaching team seeks to participate in the Silverleague and the European Qualifiers in the medium term.
On all 3 days the best atmosphere will be provided. The daily price is 10 EUR for adults (free admission under 18 years).
All games will also be livestreamed on RTL. LU.