PRESS RELEASE 20.02.2004


Thailand aims to set up professional Volleyball league

Bangkok, Thailand, February 18, 2004 - Thailand Volleyball Association (TVA) foreign affairs spokesman and FIVB Board of Administration member Shanrit Wongprasert has said he hopes to set up Thailand's first professional league, which he considers the only way to improve and develop Volleyball in the country.

Mr. Wongprasert admits Volleyball faces a big task in setting up and staging a professional Thailand Volleyball league but he says it is the only way to improve local standards and make Thai players world class. He said one needs well qualified staff, a sufficient budget, including a huge sum of prize money, and excellent promotion of the tournament.

"The Volleyball League will be one of the influential factors in upgrading our players' standard," he said. "By taking part in more major tournaments including the league, our players will learn valuable tactics and techniques which could prove a great asset to them when they go up against stronger rivals in future competitions.

"If they could match the best teams then they will have taken another step in their development. We already have the University League, so why not a Thailand League? Although it takes time to start and set up, we have to do something. I hope to see the sport increasingly promoted in all walks of Thai life."

In women's Volleyball, China, Japan and Korea are a cut above Thailand and most of them have their own leagues. Some Thai players have been getting experience overseas in professional leagues but the concern for Mr. Wongprasert is that no development will happen if players are sent overseas to gain experience.