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FIVB President promises to help Asia develop Beach Volleyball

Speaking at the Muscat Asia Beach Games 2010 FIVB President Jizhong Wei said developing countries find it easier to play Beach Volleyball rather than Volleyball explaining that Beach Volleyball is very easy to fund

Muscat, Oman, December 16, 2010 - Jizhong Wei, President of the Federation International de Volleyball (FIVB), has urged National Olympic Committees to emphasise the importance of taking part ahead of winning medals at multi-sport events.

"For athletes, the gold medal is their goal," he said. "For the NOCs this should be second. The NOCs' first goal should be participation."

Wei, a regular spectator at the Muscat Asia Beach Games 2010 tournament, underlined the governing body’s commitment to Beach Volleyball in Asia.

"I spoke with the likes of Laos PDR, Tajikistan and Timor-Leste, those countries that finished last in the respective groups. I made a promise to provide more assistance for their development programmes."

With the traditional version of the sport requiring 12 squad members, Wei acknowledged the attraction of Beach Volleyball to poorer nations.

"Developing countries find it easier to play Beach Volleyball rather than Volleyball. A ball, a net and sand they can provide," said the 74-year-old. "It's very easy to fund, there is not the need for indoor courts or halls. National federations can send athletes to training camps or tournaments by asking for scholarships through the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and International Olympic Committee.

"We need to encourage the NOCs to send their teams. We promise to commit the simple needs of the sport – a ball and a net – so those developing countries can compete at the next Asian Beach Games."

At Muscat 2010, 22 of the 43 OCA members took part in Beach Volleyball. The Games featured 120 matches involving 32 men's and 20 women's teams across eight days of competition.

"We insisted that NOCs sent teams to the Beach Volleyball. China sent their best players with respect for the organisers and for the other players," Wei explained. "We guaranteed each of their teams at least three matches. We gave them the opportunity to play with other teams and to learn from each other. In Asian multi-games, we put participation first – there is no qualification system, only free entry to encourage universality.

"In the Olympic Games, NOCs can put medals first and an athlete could be eliminated from a 100m event in under 15 seconds."


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