Visakhapatnam, India, August 5, 2005 - A spicy opening
ceremony gave visitors a true taste of India at the Rajiv
Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Friday evening.
The ceremony, on the eve of the 13th Men's U21 World
Championship, featured dancers in colourful local costumes
from the state of Andhra Pradesh, plus a laser show and drum
A representative of the 12 teams was introduced to the Chief
Guest, Dr. Y. S. Raja Sekhara Reddy, Chief Minister of
Andhra Pradesh, who later declared the championship open.
The guests of honour were Sivanthi Adityan, Executive
Vice-President of the FIVB and President of the Volleyball
Federation of India, and Cristobal Marte Hoffiz,
Vice-President of the FIVB and Chairman of the Control
On approaching the main venue for the championship, guests
were greeted by two giant inflatable mascots, VolliBob, and
the entrance was decorated with garlands.
The presence of the Chief Minister attracted frenzied
attention from the local photographers, and guaranteed wide
publicity for the event, which starts on Saturday in two
The welcome speech was made by Janardhana Reddy, Member of
Parliament and Chairman of the Organising Commitee.
The ceremony certainly set the scene for the days ahead, as
India's team was cheered passionately by a near capacity