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!
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 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.
While players enjoy some well-deserved rest before they start their preparations for the eagerly anticipated Olympic season, the Beach Volleyball calendar for 2020 is slowly but surely taking shape. With the relevant organisers announced a while ago, the CEV can now confirm the dates of next year’s under-age European Beach Volleyball Championships.
These events will provide the ideal stage for Europe’s stars in the making to continue with their growth and development, before they complete their transition to the ‘senior’ level of competition.
The Dutch city of Vlissingen will be hosting the 2020 edition of #EuroBeachVolleyU22 from June 3 to 6 – the event will set the tone for a few weeks of highly anticipated Beach Volleyball action in the Netherlands, since later that month Eindhoven will be playing host to the Olympic qualifying CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup Finals.
The next ones to take centre stage will be the youngest players, with the U18 competition due to run in Antalya from July 8 to 12 – almost exactly a year after the Turkish seaside city played host to the U22 event in 2019.
Finally, the most promising U20 teams in Europe will travel to Brno (CZE) to contest ‘their’ European Championship from August 12 to 16 at a venue (see picture above) that has already hosted a truly impressive number of age-group competitions.
Beach Volleyball is a fast-paced sport that is easy to learn but hard to take your eyes off. Whether it is the 120kph serves that the top players can pull out or a sneaky tip from an up-and-coming junior, Beach Volleyball forces players to be at their physical peak whilst reading an incredibly tactical game.
As such, the Scottish Volleyball Association are proud to be bringing the Small Countries Association (SCA) Beach Volleyball Finals 2019 to Perth thanks to a partnership with Perth and Kinross Council. Not only does this mean four days of international level Beach Volleyball for the people of Perth, but it also allows for the creation of a permanent inland Beach Volleyball Centre in Perth. The former bowling green at Darnhall Tennis Club is being replaced by 400 tonnes of sand in order to provide a fantastic facility for local and national athletes and members of the public alike.
The SCA brings together fifteen of the smallest Volleyball playing nations in Europe to create a more level playing field. The fifteen are made up of nations such as Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Andorra, Luxembourg and even the Faroe Islands and Cyprus. As this event is in Scotland, there are three guaranteed places for Scottish pairs in both the men’s and women’s competition.
Events such as the SCA Beach Finals are becoming increasingly important following the amazing announcement that Beach Volleyball will be a part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. It has also been agreed to have a wild card pair in both the men’s and women’s competition from leading European Federations, these pairs will be bringing all of their experience and skills.
Qualifying for the Main Draw will take place on the Thursday afternoon, from 3pm onwards. This is a prime chance to spot some of the best up-and-coming Scottish Junior Beach Volleyball athletes before the Main Draw begins on the Friday morning. The top athletes from the pool phases will then move onto the quarterfinals and eventually semi-finals on the Saturday afternoon.
These are certainly not to be missed with teams doing their everything to make Sunday’s final. Finally, the organisers will be hoping for one more day of sun for the Finals over lunchtime on the Sunday, as sadly they can guarantee the sand but not the sun.
The event will take place from September 19 to 22. The Finals will take place on Sunday, September 22, from 1pm to 3pm.
While paying a visit to Cyprus, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić had a high profile meeting with Mr Phivos Zachariades, Adviser to the President of the Republic of Cyprus on Sports (see picture).
President Boričić emphasised the importance CEV is placing in the development of youth sports in Europe and the need for everyone to work together to develop a strategy for that. The CEV President shared his vision to help grow the sport of Volleyball in Cyprus beginning from the grassroots level with the help of the CEV School Project, which includes assistance in terms of provision of balls and equipment, the organisation of coaching seminars and other projects in close collaboration with CEV.
The CEV President portrayed together with the Minister of Education
and Sports of the Republic of Cyprus, Dr Kostas Champiaouris.
The response from everyone the CEV President has spoken to – including
the President of the Cyprus Olympic Committee, Dinos Michaelides, and
Minister of Education and Sports, Kostas Champiaouris, has been very
positive. They all ensured President Boričić that there is already a
very good relationship and collaboration between their respective
organisations and Cyprus Volleyball and this is certainly going to
continue and expand in the future. Volleyball is the second largest
sport in Cyprus (behind football) and it is in everyone’s priorities and
President Boričić will remain in Cyprus for a few more days and will
have yet another important meeting with the President of the Cyprus
Sports Organisation, Mr Andreas Michaelides.
There is only two weeks to go until some of the best Beach Volleyballers in Europe descend on Bettystown for an international Beach Volleyball competition. The Continental Cup is part of the Tokyo 2020 qualifying series and it will see eight teams battle it out to progress to the second stage. The tournament is taking place in Ireland for the first time, and will become one of the first Olympic team qualifying tournaments held on the island.
The event will see Denmark, Estonia and Slovakia join the hosts in the women’s section, whilst Scotland, Ukraine and Lithuania take on Ireland in the men’s draw. Excitement is building in the Volleyball community as final preparations take shape. President of Volleyball Ireland Grainne Culliton said, “The Continental Cup is a chance in a lifetime opportunity to see an Olympic qualifier taking place in Ireland. It will be a great weekend of sport and we urge everyone to pop to Bettystown and take a look; it is an incredibly exciting sport with some phenomenal athletes on show.”
The Ireland team will be announced next week, but there is an expectation that Izzy Carey will take the no.1 jersey for Ireland in the women’s team. Carey, who represents UCLA in the American College competition, has recently been awarded the prestigious PAC-10 Student Athlete of the Year Award as she led her Californian College to an unprecedented unbeaten season. Carey added, “I am thrilled to be pulling on the green jersey again and representing Ireland. It gives me enormous pride and I am excited to meet up with the rest of the squad next week.”
The event will include two competition courts as well come try it activities for children and adults. Volleyball Ireland are also running fun blitzes in local schools ahead of the event as well as a Beginners session for adults on the Thursday evening. Entry is free of charge all weekend with games all day Saturday and Sunday (June 1 and 2). Click here for further information on the Continental Cup.
Volleyball Ireland are delighted to announce W.E.D Consulting Ltd as their main women’s team sponsor for 2019.
The Dublin-based consultancy firm specialises in cost management, quantity surveying, project management and specialist project-control services on development and construction projects in Ireland and abroad. The partnership will see W.E.D Consulting becoming Team Ireland’s main sponsor for the Small Countries Association Championship, which begin in Luxembourg today, May 10.
Kevin Murphy, Managing Director of W.E.D Consulting said, “We are thrilled to be involved with the Irish national team in one of the most exciting and innovative team sports there is. We see great potential for the sport and we look forward to supporting the development of Irish Volleyball at an international level. As a company, we work in a fast-paced environment where innovation, vision and growth is key – it’s great to work with an organisation that shares those values.”
Ireland kick off their campaign against the Faroe Islands at 1 pm CET before taking on auld rivals Scotland at 6 pm. The competition also sees Greenland, Northern Ireland and hot favourites Luxembourg competing. Live streaming of the matches is available through the official Facebook page of the Luxembourg Volleyball Federation.
General Manager of Volleyball Ireland Gary Stewart added, “I am delighted to have WED in place as our senior team sponsor. We are putting in place development structures that will create a pathway from participation to performance but to do that needs support and having an Irish company providing that help is a key part of the jigsaw.”
Galway Volleyball Club’s Olivia Molloy is captaining the team and commented, “I would like to personally thank Kevin and WED for their support. The girls will represent Ireland and WED with great pride over the coming days. We have prepared well all year and cannot wait to get going.”
It is a big few weeks for Volleyball Ireland with the Beach Volleyball Continental Cup coming to Bettystown over the June Bank Holiday. Eight teams from across Europe will be competing with a main headline sponsor due to be announced next week. Picture: Seven of the Women’s Volleyball Team with Kevin Murphy of WED Consulting depart Dublin Airport to Luxembourg.