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FIVB President hails regional cooperation and support for sports facility in Haiti

IOC President Thomas Bach speaks at the inauguration of the Sport for Hope Centre in Haiti
Port-au-Prince, Haiti, July 16, 2014 - On his recent trip to Haiti, FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° had the opportunity to see first-hand the benefits of regional and international sporting cooperation at the recent inauguration of the Sport for Hope Centre in Haiti.

President Graça joined Haiti’s President H.E. Michel Martelly, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and IOC President Thomas Bach at the inauguration of the Sport for Hope Centre in Port-au-Prince.

“The building of this sports hall has been possible through the continued support of Haiti’s neighbours who are committed to seeing this country get back on its feet after so much physical devastation,” said the FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°. Indeed the FIVB has been committed to helping the development of volleyball following the earthquake of 2010, which measured 7.0 in magnitude, killing between 130,000 and 316,000 people and displacing over 1.5 million people.

The construction of the sports complex was made possible through donations from the NORCECA confederation, the International Olympic Committee as well as international sports federations and National Olympic Committees.

“Sport for Hope is an example of what can be achieved when everyone works together,” said President Graça. “The investment in the sporting infrastructure will go a long way in helping Haiti to hold international volleyball events, giving the country more positive international exposure and attention than it has received over the past few years.”

As part of its long term plan for the island nation, the FIVB is also working to ensure that Haiti receives not just investment in its sporting infrastructure but also assistance with improving the skills and competencies of its players. This is an important step in laying the ground work for young, up and coming players to make their mark on the sport.

To this end, the Haitian Volleyball Federation made history when it hosted its first Volleyball Cooperation Programme (VCP) in collaboration with the FIVB Development Department in March 2014. The five-day VCP course took place in Quanaminthe in the north of the country, with the focus firmly on young players.

That same month, the Haitian Volleyball Federation, with FIVB support, also ran an eight-day Volleyball Cooperation Programme Level I Coaches Course with 33 candidates coming from all parts of Haiti including Cap Haïtien, Cayes, Petit Goave, Hinche, Gonaives, Dessalines, Anse à Veau, Bohoc and Verrettes.

A few months later in May 2014, Haiti held a three-week programme for its young male and female players, with training sessions covering many tactical aspects of the game as well as physical training and development. This course took place on a basketball court, highlighting the need for more specific volleyball training facilities like those now offered by the Sport for Hope complex.   

“All of these initiatives are playing an important role in raising the standard of volleyball in the country. In this way the people of Haiti will have the opportunity to grow with the game and hopefully begin to compete at the international level with other more experienced countries.

“Sport is a basic right that should be enjoyed by all and I am pleased that volleyball is playing its part in making this happen for the people of Haiti,” said President Graça.

As its name suggests “Sport for Hope” is well and truly on its way to helping the people of Haiti have a better, more hopeful future. 

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