Youth Continental Cup opens up new horizons for Beach Volleyball in Albania
Tirana, Albania, August 28, 2013 - Though the country – geographically speaking – is the right place for playing Beach Volleyball, Albania does not participate that often in international competitions. However, this past weekend two boys and two girls represented the so-called Eagles’ Country in the inaugural CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup, the event whereby six teams will eventually qualify for the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China.
The boys – both natives of Tirana – were playing their first tournament together. They normally play with different partners but this did not prevent Kristi Martiro and Osman Qepa from showing a good performance in Rhodes. They also had previously participated in the U20 Balkan Champs in Tirana but the Youth Continental Cup was something different and very special. “We played teams from other regions and not exclusively from the Balkans and the level was very high there” says Martiro. “We also felt the responsibility of representing our country in this competition. I think that in the end we played a couple of good matches and did our best”. “Rhodes was a totally different environment, something we are not used to and the organization of the tournament was very professional” Osman Qepa adds. “It was a great experience for I played for the very first time abroad and that was also my first international tournament. I tried to take some useful lessons from the U20 Balkan Championship held in Tirana so as to profit from this first experience for the matches we were going to play in Greece. I hope we will be given the chance to participate in other international tournaments and I am sure our results will be then much better than what we were able to achieve in Rhodes”.
“This summer we did quite many things as our young boys and girls participated in the Youth Continental Cup and we also hosted the U20 Balkan Championship here in Tirana” stresses Leonard Tase, Secretary General of the Albanian Volleyball Federation. “Even though we have very limited financial resources, by sticking all together we are doing our best to promote Beach Volleyball in Albania”.
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