F I V B  FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE VOLLEYBALL
PRESS RELEASE 23.04.2003

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Georgia stages first ever international friendly

Lausanne, April 23, 2003 - Volleyball history was made in Georgia last weekend when the Georgian National Men's Team played their first ever friendly match against Armenia on April, 18, 2003. "It was an historical day for Georgian Volleyball," said Mr. Levan Akhvlediani in a communiqué with the FIVB. Mr. Akhvleiani is also a member of FIVB Development Commission. Georgia triumphed over the visitors in a 3-0 (25-16, 25-19, 25-21) victory before 10,000 enthusiastic fans in the Tbilisi Sports Palace who also enjoyed a pop concert after the match organized by the Georgian Volleyball Federation. "This was a great idea to promote volleyball in our country, because many young people came to see the show but what they saw before was a really beautiful game that everyone loved," said Mr. Akhvleiani. Entry to the match was free and National TV, the main television covered the match. In addition, four other TV stations, five radio stations and 12 different newspapers covered the event, which attracted widespread praise from the media and the public. The president said that his federation regularly supplies their local media with news of their activity and expressed satisfaction on the success of the event. "It seems to me that many countries around the world have to conduct activities like this. It is the best possible advertisement for Volleyball and best way to develop the sport," the president said. As an experienced event organizer and a Member of the FIVB Development Commission, Mr. Akhvlediani has also offered his advice to other federations, should they wish to stage a similar event. He also offered his thanks to the FIVB and to local sponsors for their support. "It was the best step for developing Volleyball in our country," he said. Vazka Kacharava, Board of Administration Member of the Georgian Volleyball Federation praised the efforts of the president since his election two years ago. "He did so many for Georgian Volleyball over the last two years and today's event something special for me. I never thought that it is possible to bring 10'000 spectators to a Volleyball match. For me it was like a dream come true." Mr. Kacharava was part of the gold medal Olympic team of the Soviet Union at the 1964 Olympics, the first time volleyball was contested at the Olympics. Note: Federations wishing to contact the president of the Georgia Federation for more information on such an event can do so on email lema@caucasus.net, Tel: +995-99-551-590 or Fax +995-32-521-396


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