Category Archives: FIVB

scotland’s September to Remember

Today is a historic day in the history of our sport.

A short time ago we launched our new logo and brand.This has been a culmination of months of hard work with my board, staff, volunteers, and I hope you are as excited about it as we all are.

This new image is the tip of the iceberg of our new and exciting programme of development work that has been undertaken to enhance the quality and expertise that exists within our sport.  Our aim is to improve how we communicate with our membership and provide a platform for a strong future.  This is much more than a new colour scheme, font and logo.  As a staff team and board, we have been on a journey to develop a new mission, vison and values document that will be our compass and foundation for all future work.

We are coming towards the end of a 12-year development strategy which had the strap line of Bigger, Better, Stronger.  As we emerge from this global pandemic, I am delighted that our sport is returning with a clear vision for the future, with a fresh modern image and a drive and purpose that I have no doubt will allow us to reach new heights.

Every aspect of our new brand has been designed and planned with great detail.  The colour scheme embodies our countries sporting pedigree with a modern twist, the deep navy which reflects the history of sport in Scotland. This is complimented by a light blue based on the modern saltire and completed a rich vibrant purple which mirrors the iconic Scottish hill side heather.  The logo itself is formed with the S and V and shaped into a volleyball and we think it’s a great new fit for our sport.  Moving forward, we will be known as Scottish Volleyball and I know it will take a bit of time for us all to get used too, this new streamlined title reflectsour modern approach.

Please keep an eye on our social media throughout the day as we share more and more of our new image.  Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to highlight the key work our graphic designer, Megan Raats, who has undertaken this process on behalf of Scottish Volleyball.  Megan, who is a recent graduate of the University of Edinburgh and a volleyball player was the perfect fit for this project.  Not only does she have expertise and knowledge of graphic design, she is also part of the Scottish volleyball family. Her keen and innovative vision has allowed our ideas to be drawn into the amazing new brand.

Megan was able to make our vision of a new identity come to reality. It has not been an easy process; we have had countless versions and setbacks over the course of the past 10 months. I would like to personally thank Megan for her great work and wouldn’t hesitate in recommending her.  If you would like to see her incredible works, you can have a look at her website and portfolio here! You can also follow her on Instagram and LinkedIn.

The next few weeks will give you an opportunity to see some of the new industry leading partnerships that we are entering into in this new era for Scottish Volleyball.  We look forward to you being involved with us for what is going to be an incredibly exciting journey.

Margaret Ann Fleming, MBE

#NewEra

Volleyball Ireland hail progress and increased participation in their activities

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.

Scottish Beach Volleyball community celebrate past while building future

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.

CEV and Malta Volleyball Association strengthen cooperation to grow the game

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.

Ireland to host historic World Tour Beach Volleyball tournament

REPRO FREE***PRESS RELEASE NO REPRODUCTION FEE*** EDITORIAL USE ONLY CEV Beach Volleyball Continental Cup, Bettystown Beach, Co. Meath 1/6/2019 Ireland vs Ukraine Ireland’s Oisin McArdle and Alex Gibbons in a action Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

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.

CEV launch second edition of #1DayMore4Volleyball

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’!

NOVOTEL CUP 32

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.

Women’s Teams

Men’s Teams

CEV Schools Project returns to Cork

The CEV Schools Project returned to Cork this December, thus bringing additional schools with more players into Volleyball. The six-week project began at the end of October with an introductory training day for physical education teachers. This built a base knowledge and allowed the schools to spend the next five weeks preparing their students for the fun blitzes scheduled for December 3-4 in Father Mathews Arena, Cork.

A total of 250 primary school students and over 100 post primary students will participate over the two days. The event will mean schools can compete at a similar beginner level and have challenging games through a fun and relaxed environment.

The project has much to do with the now well-established Cork club Netforce VC. The newly formed junior section will help these students have an avenue to Volleyball they can seek out after school is over to continue their development within the game. Schools will also be assisted into Volleyball Ireland’s national school competitions starting early in 2020. The real success story being Walterstown national school who started their volleyball journey at this same event last year, then making it all the way to an incredible National semi-final.

Volleyball Ireland would like to thank Cork Sports Partnership in working together on this venture and in particular James Kirby who has been a direct link and promoter of the project for the last two years.  Together, the two parties have grown from 120 primary students to an incredible 250 in just one short year. It is exciting to see where they will go next!

Volleyball Ireland host first international Youth Blitz & Camp

This weekend youth teams from across three nations will descend upon Gormanston Park College Sports complex for Volleyball Ireland’s first ever youth development blitz and camp. The weekend camp will aim to build experience for younger players through some challenging matches, without the pressure of international competition.

The event will involve teams representing Denmark and Northern Ireland, as well as a range of regional representative teams made up of Ireland’s national team members and players from the new National Youth League. The blitz style event is partly funded through the CEV/SCA development fund and the Participation to Performance Programme. The schedule and concept will help prepare young players for international competition in the future.

General Manager of Volleyball Ireland, Gary Stewart said, “A key part of the strategy is to provide more opportunities for our young players to grow and learn and we are grateful to the CEV and Small Countries Association for their support. I am sure the players and coaches will gain a lot from the weekend and I would especially like to credit our Development Officer Conor Flood for his drive and determination while developing this project. It will be great to have our friends from Denmark and Northern Ireland with us for the weekend.”

This is the first international youth event of this kind hosted by Volleyball Ireland. The aim is to grow the event, providing opportunities for young Irish Volleyballers to enjoy, learn and develop their skills. It will be the first in a series of international age group events that will provide opportunities for players to reach their potential.

If anyone wishes to come along and watch, there is free entry.

The teams will kick-start the weekend with some training slots on Friday evening. Games will commence 9.30am, Saturday November 30 and will run through until 5pm. Then it is onto dinner and Saturday night activities exclusively for the players and coaches.

The camp will finish on Sunday morning with some light training sessions and fun mixed games.

Players and Coaches of the Year headline annual #VolleyGala

Europe’s Volleyball family paid tribute to the very best players and coaches of the year 2019 at the glittering gala held this past Friday in Sofia, Bulgaria. Serbia’s superstars Tijana Bošković and Uroš Kovačević were the recipients of the awards for the Female and Male Volleyball Player of the Year, respectively, after they claimed EuroVolley top honours with their national teams. Slobodan Kovač and Massimo Barbolini, on the other hand, were the Coaches of the Year honoured in the Bulgarian capital.

“Finally, after missing the previous editions of the European Gala, I have the pleasure of sharing such a wonderful moment with the whole Volleyball family,” a visibly emotional Bošković said, as she received the trophy for the Female Player of the Year for the third straight time. “I am obviously happy and proud and would like to thank my family, my teams, National Federation and coaches for all of their support,” added the two-time European champion, 2018 World champion and 2016 Olympic silver medallist, who, at the age of 22, has a resume many much more experienced players can only dream about. “Despite achieving so much success these last few years, I still want to continue to work hard to give my all to this beautiful sport.”

Just like Bošković, Uroš Kovačević was not only a EuroVolley gold medal winner this year, but the Most Valuable Player of the continental prime competition as well. He achieved further success with his Italian club TRENTINO Itas, securing two more titles from the CEV Cup and FIVB Club World Championship. “I would like to thank my coaches because they make me enjoy what I love the most – playing Volleyball,” said the outside hitter, who hails from a Volleyball family, since elder brother Nikola was a long-time member of the Serbian national team as well.

What a trio! The Coach and Male Player of the Year, Slobodan Kovač (left) and Uros Kovačević (right) portrayed together with Bulgarian Volleyball legend Dimitar Zlatanov

It was a truly successful year for Serbia, whose national teams claimed both EuroVolley crowns; this meant they repeated a feat that they had achieved in 2011 already. The men’s triumph in Paris was possibly more of a surprise than the women’s victory in Ankara, especially after a change at the helm of the team following a heavy loss to Italy in an Olympic qualifying event back in August. This is when Slobodan Kovač stepped in to replace Nikola Grbić and lead Serbia to their third EuroVolley title in history. 

“I am obviously proud of our achievement but most of the credit should go to my players,” Kovač said, “since they executed the game plans I prepared together with my staff in a perfect and impeccable way. There was a perfect understanding between us and we always did the right thing at the right moment,” added the 2000 Olympic champion with the former Yugoslavia. Under his guidance, Serbia did not drop a single game at EuroVolley and among their opponents, only Ukraine and France were able to take the match to a fifth set in the quarterfinals and semis, respectively. It was a truly remarkable year for Kovač, who celebrated further success with Belogorie BELGOROD of Russia in the 2019 edition of the CEV Challenge Cup.

The Players and Men’s Team Coach of the Year on stage in Sofia together with all other awardees from the European Volleyball Gala 2019

Massimo Barbolini was not able to attend the gala in Sofia but sent a video message to share his pride for receiving the award designed for the Women’s Team Coach of the Year. This was a well-deserved recognition, especially after he helped Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA claim their maiden CEV Champions League title at the historic Super Finals in Berlin. This accounted for Barbolini’s fourth triumph in the competition – with as many teams.

Pictured above: CEV President Aleksandar Boričić together with the Male and Female Players of the Year, Uros Kovačević and Tijana Bošković