Volleyball Foundation continues to serve, connect and inspire global communities through volleyball to improve societies.

The Volleyball Foundation recently teamed up with the Thailand Volleyball Association (TVA) to host a mass participation event that inspired hundreds of children with a unique and immersive volleyball experience.

Held during the Volleyball Nations League (VNL) Finals in Bangkok, the three-day event saw young players experience Green Volleyball, train with legends of the game and witness the world’s best at the VNL.

On the first day, sustainability was front and centre as the legendary volleyball ambassadors – Feng Kun, Elizaveta Bracht, Nootsara Tomkom, Pleumjit Thinkaow and Amorntep Konhan – and young players participated in Green Volleyball activities in the rice fields of Arsa Chaonamahanakorn. Here, players took to the mud and played volleyball to help plant rice seeds, promoting an eco-friendly approach to farming.

They were welcomed by Mr Vorakiat Sujiwarodom, the Founder of Arsa Chaonamahanakorn, and listened to a keynote on combatting global warming from Professor Yak, Mr Wiwat Salyakamthorn, a leading expert on agricultural sustainability.

In addition, three of the ambassadors, Kun, Nootsara and Bracht participated in the Drawing of Lots for the women’s volleyball competition at Paris 2024. Notably, this marked the 20th anniversary of the Olympic final in Athens 2004, where Kun and Bracht went head-to-head during China’s gold medal winning performance.

From fierce rivals, the two have reconnected 20 years later through the Volleyball Foundation’s activities – a true testament to volleyball’s values of respect, friendship and teamwork. Both Kun and Bracht also donated their game worn jerseys to the special charity auction held at the Foundation’s launch which sold for a total of CHF 5,200.

The following day, the children had the chance to witness a training session of the Thai women’s volleyball team ahead of their clash with Brazil in the quarterfinals of the VNL Finals. The children were thrilled and inspired to see their heroes up close, highlighting the importance of strong role models.

Incredibly, these young athletes also had the opportunity to play on the big stage at the competition venue, the Indoor Stadium Huamark, of the VNL Finals in Bangkok. Their excitement and joy during this experience were truly heartwarming.

The children also had the opportunity to watch Thailand and Brazil battle it out at the VNL Finals game, before heading to their own tournament at the Sports Authority of Thailand. Here, they had the opportunity to put into practice everything they had learned over the past few days, with a special trophy also up for grabs. Most importantly, it was volleyball’s values of teamwork, communication and perseverance that shone brightly during these matches.

Volleyball Foundation and FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F°, International Olympic Committee (IOC) Member Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) President Rita Subowo and TVA President Somporn Chaibangyang participated in the closing ceremony of the project alongside the children and ambassadors.

(from left to right) IOC Member Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul, Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça F°, Marina Graça, AVC President Rita Subowo enjoying the Volleyball Foundation event in Bangkok with the children playing across 20 courts

Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça F° said:

“During these two days, we have witnessed 320 children enjoy volleyball across 20 courts set up in these beautiful facilities. Our participants had a unique opportunity to engage their volleyball idols, our ambassadors, the true stars of our sport! They were able to master their volleyball skills while having fun, learning important life lessons and playing together.

“We have showcased the power of volleyball to transform communities around the world. We demonstrate how volleyball can open new doors, challenge social divisions, and promote wellbeing and healthier lifestyles. Let me assure you that our work is only just beginning. The Volleyball Foundation has an exciting journey ahead, so let’s serve the world through volleyball!” 

IOC Member Khunying Patama Leeswadtrakul said:

“Volleyball is not just a game, it is a celebration of spirit, perseverance and friendship. It is a powerful tool to develop our community engagement. The energy, the teamwork and the dedication displayed by the FIVB Volleyball Foundation, and everyone involved, has truly elevated this event.

“I would like to extend my appreciation for everyone here for your tireless dedication to the sport of volleyball. And a special thanks to Dr Ary Graça for your unwavering commitment, your strong leadership and the great success you have brought to the sport of volleyball, together with the Foundation. Dr Ary Graça, your commitment to promoting volleyball globally has emphasised the Olympic values which are excellence, friendship and respect.”

AVC President Rita Subowo said:

“The Volleyball Foundation will connect, serve and inspire communities around the world, using the global reach and power of volleyball to have a positive impact. This is our way to show the world that the FIVB is not just a sport organisation, but we care and want to help our children and family across the world.

“I extend my heartfelt gratitude not only to Dr Ary Graça as President of the FIVB, but also to Thailand, who helped us to make today happen with children from 36 schools from Bangkok and the surrounding areas. Bravo Thailand!”

Volleyball Foundation Executive Director Bracht said:

“We had so much joy and fun with you all. We had many fantastic and immersive activities, such as playing in mud in rice fields, learning new skills from the amazing ambassadors and watching matches of the VNL. Every journey starts with a first step, and you [the children] made this step today.

“Our main goal was to inspire you and make you dream big through the values of volleyball. So please keep playing volleyball. Keep growing with volleyball. Keep learning and keep inspiring each other. Let’s serve the world through volleyball together!”  

The event not only instilled a love for volleyball in hundreds of children but also highlighted the sport’s power to foster community, sustainability and global friendship. With a bright future ahead, the Volleyball Foundation continues its mission to connect, serve and inspire global communities through volleyball to improve societies.


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