CEV and Zonal Associations/SCD report on impressive development of the sport
News from the CEV
Copenhagen, Denmark, September 28, 2013. To open the third session of the XXXIV CEV General Assembly on Saturday morning at Scandic hotel in Copenhagen, CEV President André Meyer briefed the audience about the activities of the CEV Development Department whose main task is to assist the National Federations in their effort to support the growth and promotion of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball at grass roots level.
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After previously relying on the FIVB Development Fund, the CEV decided already a couple of years ago to establish a Development Department in Luxembourg that has drafted a long-term plan named “Vision 2020” which is being studied by the Board of Administration and is conceived in accordance with the new policy of FIVB to support National Federations from all categories. The CEV has allocated more than 500,000 $ in 2013 to support activities by its members to help with the development of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball in schools, the actions carried out by the Zonal Associations and the Small Countries Division (SCD), as well as to organize seminars and symposiums.
Two projects supported by FIVB finished in 2012 with seven more currently running in Sweden, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Belgium, Hungary, Montenegro, Luxembourg, and Spain whose main goal is to promote Volleyball in schools and identify talents to work on for the future. There are five development projects that have been submitted to CEV for financial support; their common pattern – they shall be implemented in very heterogeneous countries such as Montenegro, Lithuania, Denmark, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and England – is a lasting legacy in stimulating the involvement of young boys and girls in Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. The CEV has also supported two Beach Volleyball Festivals in England and the Netherlands as well as the organization of eight tournaments for the inaugural CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup whereby teams will qualify for the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing.
In terms of solidarity and patronage, some “strong” Federations have been supporting their neighboring countries; Italy has been doing that for countries in Northern Africa, while Serbia has become the pillar for the promotion of Volleyball in the Balkan region. Poland got the task to do something similar in supporting the Republic of Belarus.
The CEV has been also organizing a series of seminars in order to improve on the quality and skills of international referees, referee delegates, as well as on the general management of its members via an ad-hoc symposium held this past May in Luxembourg and addressed to the General Secretaries of the affiliated national federations. A special clinic for Beach Volleyball coordinators is scheduled for November 2013 while an international symposium devoted to Volleyball in Schools is planned for spring 2014.
The main pillars to support the development of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball in Europe are the five development centers spread all over Europe. The one in Kettering (ENG) is open, a second followed in Baku (AZE) this past August while the contracts for those located in Milano (ITA) and Luxembourg are about to be signed. Another one will follow in the near future in North East Europe.
The report on development by the CEV President was followed by the address of representatives of the four Zonal Associations (BVA, EEVZA, MEVZA, and NEVZA) as well as of the Small Countries Division who all recapped their activities in the past 12 months.
Many competitions have taken place in the Balkan region for young players who are set to embark on a career in Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. The BVA has added to their portfolio also the so-called Kids’ Festival whose main goal is to bring children from the 10 member countries together in order to enjoy Volleyball right from an early age. The event initially scheduled for early October in Istanbul was nevertheless postponed to May next year. The BVA is the only Zonal Association with a main sponsor, namely Halkbank from Turkey.
Since this past May Georgia joined the Eastern European Volleyball Zonal Association. The main task is to involve all NFs so to make sure that they all participate in the Zonal Championships. The financial support to organizers has improved year after year. The real major asset of the EEVZA is the Beach Volleyball Tour that this year has been distributing FIVB ranking points together with the annual EEVZA U18 Beach Volleyball Championship. Volleyball competitions addressed to the youth and junior divisions have also taken place quite regularly though some room for improvement still remains when it comes to the participation of the members.
The Middle European Volleyball Zonal Association (MEVZA) has also been working to promote Volleyball and Beach Volleyball across the local youth. The countries from Central Europe have their cross-national league, the well-established Middle European League, but are also working on plans to improve on their marketing activities as well as cooperation with the media.
The North European Volleyball Zonal Association (NEVZA) has many challenges to stand, especially to cope with the distance separating the member countries and the high travel costs for countries like Greenland, Faroe Islands, and Iceland. The NEVZA General Assembly was held here in Copenhagen shortly before the CEV Congress. The participation of the member countries has significantly increased with 14 out 16 teams set to enter the U17 and U19 Championship scheduled for this fall in Denmark and England. Magnus Tausen also announced that NEVZA just elected a new President, Timo Kenakkala of Finland, while Secretary General was appointed Jussi Jokinen, who is also the General Director of the Finnish Volleyball League and Manager of the Finnish national teams.
The SCD headquarters were moved from Liechtenstein to Scotland. The SCD members have agreed on the provision whereby only players from these federations are allowed to enter SCD competitions. The contract with their project manager was ended and that financial resources re-allocated so as to support the SCD members as they bear high travel costs to make it to the various competition venues. The city of Vaduz (LIE) hosted once more the annual CEV Satellite while the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg did welcome the 2013 edition of the Games of the Small States of Europe. SCD is also looking at development camps (a summer camp was organized in Malta after last year’s indoor premiere in Luxembourg) and youth development. Northern Ireland did see over 300 volunteers help host the World Police & Fire Games. SCD has engaged and embraced social media considerably (Facebook, Twitter) and has been supporting diversity so that after 20 years Andorra could finally have a women’s national team set to compete in the next two seasons.
CEV Vice President Jan Hronek announced to the General Assembly that in Copenhagen eight National Federations (Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Germany) agreed upon the establishment of the Western European Volleyball Zonal Association (WEVZA) whose chairman will be CEV Vice President Agustin Martin Santos, the current President of the Royal Spanish Volleyball Federation.