Kids' Day success indicates bright future for snow volleyball
On the eve of the 2017 CEV Snow Volleyball European Tour stop in Kranjska Gora, 124 children aged between 7 and 14 from all parts of Slovenia gathered on four snow courts to make their first acquaintance with the beautiful young winter sport.
“I liked the various activities today so much that I did not know what to choose! I love playing in the snow,” exclaimed 7-year-old Martin from Tunjice near Kamnik, who wants to become a train driver and dismisses a possible career path as a snow volleyball player, but certainly enjoyed the day on the snow courts and contemplates playing snow volleyball as a hobby.
Some of the older kids had already played volleyball or beach volleyball before, but for most of them this was the first encounter with volleyball of any kind. With the help of eight volunteer instructors, the children learned about the ins and outs of snow volleyball and the various elements of the game, but, most importantly, had a lot of fun and picked up some unforgettable memories.
“We are on a school trip here. When we got here it was very cold, but later in the day it became warm and it was nice to play volleyball on the snow,” said 14-year-old Lan Ivancic from Hoce near Maribor, who admitted that teaming up with the girls on the court was part of the fun. “We played some snow volleyball, we had a serving contest, we got prizes… - it was very nice. I have played indoor volleyball, but this was my first time playing on the snow. At first, it was a bit hard, but then you get into the rhythm and enjoy it. The weather was nice, the atmosphere was great and everyone was happy. The organisers did a really good job. They made sure everything was right for us.”
Two of the volleyball stars from ACH Volley Ljubljana were also among the instructors and happy to take up the important function of stellar role models for the kids. Multiple champion of Slovenia - both indoor and on the sand, Rok Satler, and current Slovenian indoor international Jani Kovacic, silver medallist from EuroVolley 2015, passed some of their precious knowledge of the game down to the next generation of enthusiastic young hopefuls.
“This is all very nice, because so many kids came here today to see what it is like to play ball on the snow,” commented Jani Kovacic. “This is new in Slovenia, for me as well. This was my first time playing snow volleyball and I liked it. We picked a great day to be here with this nice weather! I think it will stay like that over the weekend and we will have some good games here.”
“From the Slovenian federation’s standpoint, we are very happy and thankful for all these kids who joined us here today to try this new sport on the snow,” said Gregor Humerca, Secretary General of the national federation, which issued special snow volleyball certificates for all participating girls and boys. “We could see that all kids were happy, so I would like to thank all the coaches and the mentors who brought the children here. I think it is obvious that snow volleyball is a sport with a bright future.”