Gira-Volei champions crowned in Maia
Maia, Portugal, June 18, 2014 - Young athletes from across the country participated in the national Gira-Volei competition from June 14-15 in Maia, Portugal, the 2014 European City of Sport. As many as 700 players competed in the event, making for a beautiful and colourful weekend of volleyball across 50 courts.
Gira-Volei attracted over 700 young athletes to Maia, Portugal|
The tournament in Maia was the climax of the Gira-Volei season, which began at a regional and municipal level and involved schools and a total of about a hundred thousand participants. The competition was organised around different age groups, including eight to 23 year olds, and players over the age of 23. Participants battled it out to clinch a spot in the grand finale in Maia.
After matches on Saturday and Sunday morning, the champions for each age group and gender were known. The winners were rewarded with medals and trophies. All involved were visibly pleased with a job well done.
"We are very happy because last year we finished 5th and today we reach 1st. We wish to thank our coaches," said Madalena and Frederica, who participated in the competition for 8-10 year old girls.
David and João, who participated in the same age category for boys, commented that: "It was a great weekend, with a lot of excitement. We’ve enjoyed the competition, the companionship and especially our victory."
"This title is the reward for an exhausting season. We didn't play at our best in the regional meeting but luckily we corrected that in the final. We wish to thank our teammates for making us evolve every day," said Miguel and Ricardo, who participated in the competition for 13-15 year old boys.
Rita and Cristiana (16-18 year olds) said: "It’s the fourth consecutive title for us, so we believe we are to congratulate. Everything went well with the organisation despite the heat that we experienced, but we managed to play well and we also had time to go to the beach."
Leonel Salgueiro, National Coordinator of Gira-Volei, who was speaking on behalf of the Portuguese Volleyball Federation, commented that: "The event was extremely positive, everything went well, the players were well received, well accommodated and it was a great volleyball party. It was another successful year. This time it was Maia, the 2014 European City of Sport, which hosted the competition and it is a remarkable fact, because the city has always invested in sport. This area of Castêlo da Maia has strong bonds with volleyball."
"This year we’ll activate Gira-Praia (which focuses on beach volleyball), which will be based on the virtues of Gira-Volei. We believe that this new project will be a success like Gira-Volei and Gira+. These development projects will ensure the future of the sport in Portugal," he concluded.
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