October 25, 2003 - When in November the 2003 World Cup teams run onto the courts in cities all over Japan, a very special mascot will be there to cheer them. Babo-chan, also interpreted when translated from Japanese into English as “Vabo-chan”, will lead the cheers and animate the crowd as tirelessly as he has done at each of these events for more than three decades.
This delightful character is therefore probably one of the most enduring and most loved sporting mascots of all time. For the 2003 edition, Babo-chan has been reproduced for the event posters. He can be seen playfully leaping all over the World Cup web pages of host broadcasters FUJI TV, as well as on the FIVB World Cup pages.
The loveable animated ball, with his big bright eyes and large hands and feet, is also present on a large range of merchandising associated with this quadrennial event.
Babo-chan is a trademark Volleyball symbol in Japan and at the courtside and on the merchandising, he is seen performing most of the classic actions of the sport - serving, digging, receiving, spiking and blocking.
Babo-chan, perky, energetic and always loveable, has changed little in form since he first broke onto the scene back in the 1970’s and by 2003 has really earned his place as a true mascot icon.
Indeed, this bouncy creature, introduced during a real Golden Era in Japanese Volleyball, has more than earned recognition as a true Volleyball “veteran”.