Lausanne, Switzerland, December 24, 2015 – As another year begins to draw to a close I would like to take this opportunity to look back at some of the magnificent achievements over the last 12 months. It has truly been a breath-taking year for both the sport.
We have come so far in such a short space of time and I am proud to see volleyball moving into a golden era in 2016 and beyond.
One of the biggest highlights was the hugely successful FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships The Netherlands 2015. History was made as the tournament took place across four venues – The Hague, Amsterdam, Apeldoorn and Rotterdam – and each put their own unique spin on the tournament.
In volleyball, the first teams to join Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games were decided at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup Japan 2015 as the hosts put on a spectacular show. It was China who claimed gold in the women’s event with Serbia taking second – earning a berth for Rio 2016 – and USA third. In the Men’s World Cup it was a first crown in three decades for USA as Italy finished second and Poland third.
The FIVB Volleyball World League Finals 2015 acted as a warm-up for the Olympics with the Brazilian fans showing their usual passion. France sealed the gold medal, losing just one match throughout the tournament while history was also made in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix as, for the first time, the event concluded in the United States. The hosts duly delivered for the thousands of fans that turned out as they finished the week unbeaten to record a sixth triumph in the tournament.
2015 also provided a chance for the stars of the future to shine, with the U18, U19, U20, U21 and U23 World Championships all taking place. It brings me joy to hear of the continued success of tournaments such as this one.
Although the eyes of the beach volleyball world were on the Netherlands for the World Championships, we cannot forget the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Five Grand Slams and six opens were joined by three Major series tournaments in partnership with the Beach Major Company to help create the biggest 12 months of beach volleyball in the history of the sport.
Competition on the court obviously took centre stage, but outside of travelling to see these magnificent events I was also lucky to attend all five Confederation congresses. This was a great opportunity to meet face-to-face with many national federation presidents.
Now it is time to look toward 2016 and we can do so with a clear vision. The revolutionary 9 Goals project are part of a long term strategic plan to help direct the future work of the federation and ensure it realises the sport’s huge global potential.
The 9 Goals gives us a target with where the FIVB should be heading over the next few years. I look forward to continuing this exciting journey into the 2016 with all of you as we look forward to the Rio Olympic Games as well as the 35th FIVB World Congress.
May I wish you a very happy holiday and the very best for 2016.
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