The Equal Jersey campaign helps to raise awareness of equal rights through the power of volleyball
To further solidify and celebrate the need for equality – and to be a role model for other sports – the Volleyball World Equal Jersey campaign invites the volleyball community, from players to fans and from stakeholders to sponsors, to champion gender equality.
Volleyball prides itself on an equal gender split in terms of TV rights, sponsorship and prize money and, in 2021, the Equal Jersey campaign was launched to raise awareness of equality in volleyball. The campaign has seen some of the sport’s biggest stars wear the Equal Jersey during the Volleyball Nations League Finals in 2021 and 2022.
Pornpun Guedpard recently inspired Thailand to the quarterfinals of the Volleyball Nations League and the setter is currently in charge of distributing the ball to her teammates at the FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in the Netherlands and Poland. The 29-year-old says everyone should have an equal opportunity to play sports as her team continue to delight fans with their positive attitude and creative brand of volleyball.
Pornpun has also joined some of the world’s biggest volleyball stars to support the Equal Jersey initiative and celebrate equality in volleyball. Watch the video to listen to her take on what equality means.
“Equality is when people of all genders and ages have the opportunity to play sports.” – Pornpun Guedpard
At the recent Men’s World Championship in Poland and Slovenia, one of Japan’s most popular players, Equal Jersey Ambassador Yuji Nishida led his teammates to the Round of 16 at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship in Poland and Slovenia, after a fifth-place finish at the Volleyball Nations League earlier this year.
The 22-year-old opposite has played for the Japan national team since 2018 and appreciates being able to inspire both men and women as an athlete. “I think it’s an important thing for our society to prove that the individual can really do it,” he says. “Not everyone has the same talents, but I think it’s great that everyone has the opportunity.”
“I am truly moved that we can inspire everyone, and that everyone can do what we do too.” – Yuji Nishida
In 2022, the campaign was boosted further following the announcement of Volleyball World’s partnership with charity Let’s Keep The Ball Flying, that coincided with the VNL Finals, and saw Equal Jerseys worn by 10 girls and 10 coaches at a volleyball training camp in Nepal. The camp was set-up by LKTBF to promote equality, education, inclusion and empowerment, boosting equal access through the power of volleyball.
During the 2022 Volleyball Women’s World Championships in the Netherlands, DHL – one of the world’s leading global logistics brands – entered a partnership with Volleyball World that emphasises social sustainability and drives DHL’s diversity and inclusion strategy, adding further weight to Volleyball World’s mission of achieving gender equality and female empowerment.
With Volleyball World and DHL sharing similar values focused on sustainability and equality, efforts have been made to leverage these principles during the Women’s World Championship. A special edition of the Equal Jersey featuring DHL is available exclusively on site in the Netherlands during the championship for fans to purchase. Together with Let’s Keep The Ball Flying, activations on-site will see athlete signing sessions, photo opportunities and giveaways to keep fans engaged and informed.
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