Serbia and USA visit home for children with special needs ahead of World League matches
News from the National Federations
Novi Sad, Serbia, July 3, 2014. The Volleyball Federation of Serbia and their general sponsor, the “Vip mobile” company, carry on with a series of corporate social responsibility actions placed under the slogan “Volleyball Connects”. On Thursday the men’s senior national teams of Serbia and USA visited the home and school for primary and secondary education “Milan Petrovic” for children with special needs in Novi Sad. The delegation, led by Mr. Slobodan Milosevic, Secretary General of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia, consisted of Mr. Jan Hronek from the Czech Republic, CEV Vice-President and FIVB Supervisor, International Referees Taoufik Boudaya from Tunisia and Ebrahim Jaafar Ali from Bahrain, and players and staff of both teams.
After a musical performance, the guests were addressed by Mrs. Slavica Markovic, director of the school, Mr. Aleksandar Petrovic, Chief of the Lord Mayor’s Cabinet in the City of Novi Sad, and Mr. Slobodan Milosevic, Secretary General of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia.
Volleyball players of Serbia and the United States socialised with the residents of the foster home, and then distributed gifts. Dragan Stankovic, Serbia’s team captain, and Paul Lotman, USA national team player (see picture), tried to play the “sound beam” machine, a unit specifically set up for children with special needs, and got a well-deserved round of applause. Later, in the school’s gym the children and the athletes played an exhibition Volleyball game.
Mrs. Slavica Markovic, director of the school and day-care facility for the children with special needs named after Milan Petrovic said: “We are honoured to have these great athletes here. We are very happy and excited. We will remember this day for a long time. We are really grateful for this opportunity, and I hope to see you all back soon for another great gathering.”
Jan Hronek, CEV Vice-President and FIVB Supervisor: “It is a really great idea to organise this meeting. I even wiped a little bit, because my original profession is school teacher, and I like children very much. Thanks to both teams for being here. When you see these children’s eyes and happiness, it is a thing that you’re never going to forget.”
John Speraw, head coach of Team USA: “I am grateful to the Serbian Federation for organising this event. We are always enthusiastic about the opportunity to grow the game, and also our presence within the sport, as we have the opportunity to be role models for young people. The opportunity to contribute in that way is something that we are very grateful for. We are tall, healthy, and the kids can look up to us.”
Slobodan Milosevic, Secretary General of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia: “I am very happy, especially because the US team expressed their interest to be here. We never miss a chance to be with the kids, and this project is very dear to us. Of course, we will continue to do this in the future as well, because the kids are real, and our athletes are real, and that is the right kind of interaction.”
The complete gallery of photos from today’s event is available here
The World League matches between Serbia and the USA are scheduled for Friday, July 4, from 20:00 in Novi Sad, and for Sunday, July 6, starting at 20:00 in Belgrade.