The 33rd CEV General Assembly officially opened in Luxembourg
“After a few years the CEV General Assembly is returning back home as we get together here in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for the first time since 2006. Since that time our Confederation has undergone some major changes, expanding its activities and asserting its role in the daily efforts that are being made to support the development and promotion of our sport also on a worldwide scale,” said the CEV president. “My annual activity report will provide you with more details about the current state of volleyball in Europe but even though we can proudly look back at the past months and years, we still would like to focus on what is next, hoping that the best for volleyball is yet to come,” he added.
“I have the feeling that this Congress portrays our current attitude and approach. We can look back at the past achievements with much pride – and in doing so we will also honour some volleyball personalities who will be appointed CEV honorary members for their continuous contribution to our success – and, at the same time, we want to stick to our intention not to slow down the pace in order to bring volleyball closer to the young generations and to stimulate the involvement of all those who may well contribute to an even more successful future,” stressed the CEV president.
The Mayor of Luxembourg City, Xavier Bettel, then addressed Europe’s volleyball authorities and the delegates of the 47 National Federations in attendance (six were represented by proxy).
“It is a real honour for me to welcome you to Luxembourg, a city and a country that probably most of you have travelled to for the first time. You have realised, I hope, that this city and country are much more than a bank or a savings account, and we would certainly love you to have a look around and enjoy what Luxembourg is able to offer in terms of history, culture and tradition.”
The Mayor also recalled his special connection with volleyball, the sport he enjoyed most at school. He also drew delegates’ attention to the venue of the General Assembly that usually plays host to meetings of prime ministers and heads of state of the European Union.
The president of the Luxembourg Olympic Committee, André Hoffmann, also took the floor. “We are very grateful to André Meyer, whom I worked with while he still chaired our volleyball federation, because with his work he has definitely contributed to the massive development of this sport. The Grand Duchy will be hosting, next year, the Games of the Small States of Europe, with volleyball being quite understandably included in the programme of this multi-sport event. In a sport where for a small country like Luxembourg it is very difficult to claim good results, we can be proud that we are being so well represented in terms of general management and in a decision-making process whose effects are to be felt worldwide.”
Lastly Luxembourg’s sports minister, Romain Schneider, reminded delegates that Luxembourg has already been in the spotlight having hosted the final round of the 2007 Women’s European Volleyball Championship at the local sports centre. “This time Europe’s volleyball family has come together for less sportive purposes but still I assume that the decisions that are to be made here will definitely influence the progress and development of the sport for the years to come.” Mr Schneider also noted that the Volleyball Confederation is the first international sports federation in the Grand Duchy having moved from Brussels to Luxembourg more than 20 years ago.
“Currently we have got three international federations who have found their home here, with the CEV joined by Europe’s governing bodies for table tennis and swimming. Somehow the CEV set the tone for more federations to follow and settle down in Luxembourg. The government of our country is very much looking forward to welcoming more sports federations with the ultimate goal being to turn the Grand Duchy into a home for the European sports family, similar to what has happened with the EU institutions. As the CEV recently bought its premises in Luxembourg, we are extremely glad to see that we will be hosting Europe’s volleyball family also in the years to come so that Luxembourg will enjoy a unique positioning in the global sports arena.”
After the official opening, the Assembly continued with the approval of the minutes from the previous Congress held last year in Vienna and the president’s report on the CEV’s recent activities and projects to foster the growth and development of volleyball across Europe.
Lastly, Mr Meyer shared the result of the appointments to the various institutional bodies made by the FIVB for the next Olympic quadrennial. “Europe is well represented in all organs and I think we can be very proud of the positions we have been appointed to thereby contributing to the development of volleyball also worldwide, sharing our knowledge, skills and being ready to support all other Confederations and anyone who may well need our help.”