release 31 May 2002
Switzerland, 31 May 2002 - The FIVB on Friday joined forces with
the World Health Organization to help draw attention to World No
Tobacco Day, an initiative that FIVB President Dr, Rubén Acosta
"The FIVB is happy to join forces with the World Health
Organization on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day and beyond.
By linking this very worthy campaign to our sport and publicizing
it through our competitions we can help deliver the message that
the use of tobacco is completely incompatible with our
sport," said FIVB President Dr. Rubén Acosta in a message to
the organizers of the day's activities.
The FIVB joined WHO activities for "World No Tobacco Day"
at the organization's Geneva headquarters, accompanied by leading
athletes who played an exhibition match and played volleyball with
staff members. They included Beach Volleyball World Champion
Bronze Medallist Vegard Hoidalen of Norway and China's Xilan Yang,
who captained the Chinese women's team that was last year honored
by the FIVB as Players of the Century. They were joined by Boris
Lardi and Jan Svoboda of the prominent Swiss club"Chenois".
"I can say with confidence that the FIVB Beach Volleyball
World Tour is tobacco free," said Vegard Hoidalen, who, with
his partner Jorre André Kjemperud, ranked in sixth place on the
Dr. David Nabarro of the Director Generals' Office of WHO brought
a strong message from Director General Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland
condemning the use of tobacco and appealing for sport to join the
fight against its use. Dr. Douglas Bettcher of WHO's Tobacco Free
Initiative and Dr. Ruth Bonita, representing Dr. Derek Yach of
WHO's Noncommunicable Diseases and Mental Health Cluster also
appealed for the sport to distance itself from tobacco use.
The FIVB Women's Volleyball World Championship in Germany (Aug
30-Sept 15) and the Montreux VolleyMasters 2002, (June 4-9), which
features eight of the world's leading women's teams, will both
support the Tobacco Free initiative.
"We owe it to our athletes, and especially our women athletes
to support this campaign," said FIVB General Manager
Jean-Pierre Seppey. "They are role models for our children
and as future mothers, the guardians of the next generation."
The FIVB, the world governing body for the sport of Volleyball,
has Continental Confederations in five continents and is
affiliated with 217 National Federations.
Its mission is to develop Volleyball and Beach Volleyball
as a major world media and entertainment sport through world class
planning and organization of competitions, marketing and