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Stavanger receives Ministerial stamp of approval on return to World Tour

Norway's Minister for Culture Thorhild Widvey and Norway Volleyball Federation president Stein Gunnar Bondevik take in the action at the Stavanger Grand Slam
Stavanger, Norway, June 25, 2014 - The Stavanger Grand Slam received a ministerial blessing as Norwegian Minister of Culture, Thorhild Widvey visited the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour site on Wednesday.

With the women’s main draw competition and the men’s qualifiers taking place there was plenty of on-court action to entertain the minister and she was eager to see what the six Norwegian teams in the main draw had to offer the home crowd. 

“I am from this district, so I have been to the World Tour many times. So it is really exciting that the Tour is back,” the Minister said. 

“We will just have to cheer for the Norwegians, and hopefully they will do their best.”

Stavanger returned to the World Tour after a three-year hiatus, but it is quickly regaining its previous levels of popularity with its harbour-side location and warm weather already drawing crowds to all four courts. 

The Minister watched the Norwegians Cindy Treland and Janne Pedersen lose 2-0 (21-9, 25-23) to the Argentine team Ana Gallay and Georgina Klug on centre court and was impressed by the level of the teams. 

“I just saw the match with two of the Norwegian girls, who unfortunately lost, but it was a very tight and an unbelievably exciting game,” Mrs Widvey said.

“Primarily there is a great joy for the sport here, although the athletes’ performances are very impressive. Here in Stavanger, this is a big event with many great achievements.”

After watching the game, The Minister of Culture enjoyed the chance to play a little game herself alongside the Norwegian teams Geir Eithun and Iver Horrem and Øyvind Hordvik and Morten Kvamsdal. 

Before the game she received some tips from Øyvind Hordvik and while she said her beach volleyball-experience was “pretty poor”, she was more than willing to try her best.

“Sport brings pleasure, sport provides solidarity and there are so many positive sides about sport,” she said. 

“One can never be too young or to old to participate.”

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