FIVB President takes to the court at Vôlei Master
Saquarema, Brazil, November 14, 2012 – International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) President Dr. Ary Graça, proved that he is not just a manager but someone with sound knowledge of volleyball, as he took to the court on Wednesday to play the Vôlei Master, a senior competition held in Saquarema, Brazil for athletes above the age of 35.
In its ninth edition, the event organised by the Brazilian Volleyball Federation (CBV) brings together 145 teams and more than 1,200 players for an eight-day competition at the CBV’s Volleyball Development Center. Players from all over the country and other countries in the region travel from far to participate in the tournament. The competition was created by Dr Graça during his term as the head of the Brazilian federation.
“A huge event like this one proves that volleyball is a sport that can be practiced by people of different ages, from children to old people. And it also shows how important volleyball can be to the health,” Dr. Graça said.
The FIVB President visited the Vôlei Master with a clear desire to “play with friends”. Playing volleyball is not new for Dr. Graça as he had a victorious career on the court in the 1960s, winning important titles and playing for the Brazilian national team.
In Saquarema, Dr. Graça played for Amavôlei against AABB-DF with Amavôlei winning the first set before losing the next two (22-25, 25-23, 15-10).
However, the result did not affect the enthusiasm around Dr. Graça’s visit. Since the creation of the Vôlei Master, he has taken part in almost all editions. This time Dr. Graça met old friends and was asked several times to take photos with fans. He spoke to them, listened to their opinions and left with the stories he was told.
“Vôlei Master isn’t fun without Ary Graça. He is really nice with everyone here. The mood is much better with him,” said athlete Maria das Graças.
“He is responsible for this. His presence here brings prestige and shows how important the event is to him and to the CBV”, said Otília Martignoni, from Porto Alegre.
Throughout, Dr. Graça seemed to feel comfortable – after all, he was literally at home. He was responsible for the conception and construction of the Volleyball Development Center, considered one of the world’s most advanced volleyball training centres.
“It is only possible to organise the Vôlei Master thanks to the structure that Ary Graça has built and offered here in Saquarema. This is the largest senior one-modality competition centre,” said the organising team member Sérgio Faria.
The former Olympic player Mário Dunlop approved Ary’s presence at the Vôlei Master.
“He has been part of it since the first edition. Before taking charge at CBV, he was already a senior player. Everybody here recognises the relevance of his visit,” Dunlop said.