Bangkok, Thailand, May 25, 2020 – It was with great sadness that AVC learned of the passing of Mr Katsumi Wakao, one of the JVA’s most influential persons and former FIVB Sports Events Council Member. He died of acute pneumonia on early Sunday morning, May 24 at the age of 86.
A well-respected Wakao had played a prominent role in contributing substantially to FIVB and AVC, giving to both governing bodies the necessary dynamism of the development of volleyball worldwide through his hard work and tireless dedication.
At the 2010 FIVB Women’s World Championship in Tokyo, the huge amount of supports in Japan was outstanding. The Japanese fans are a credit to their country, but one person in particular had to be acknowledged. Wakao was nominated the Competition Director and has selflessly contributed himself to the development of volleyball in his home country as well as promoting the sport across the world. Thus, he proudly received the prestigious “Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays” Award from the Japanese Emperor Akihito for his achievements and work for volleyball.
After years of devotion to FIVB, purely for the love of the sport, Wakao stepped down from a management position and played a low-key role working behind the scenes as the AVC Senior Advisor. In May 2015, he was the guest of honour to present certificates to those who completed the AVC Referee’s Course and Pre-International Referee Candidate Course at the FIVB Development Centre in Bangkok. Since then, he had suffered from health issues so he clearly wanted to keep a low profile.
After a years-long battle with his health problems, Wakao has sadly passed away on Sunday. His funeral ceremony was held on Monday afternoon at Tutsuno Machi Town in Nagano Prefectures, Japan.
At this sad moment, AVC would like to extend its deepest sympathies and pass on its condolences to Wakao’s family and loved ones. Positive thoughts are with them during this very difficult time.
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