Volleyball stars united with Special Olympics Athletes
Stare Jablonki, Poland - July 7, 2013 - One of the world’s greatest ever volleyball players Vladimir Grbic joined Polish volleyball stars to play alongside Special Olympics athletes in a Unified Volleyball game at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships Mazury 2013 on Sunday to promote greater respect and inclusion for people with intellectual disabilities.
Special Olympics Ambassador for volleyball Vladimir Grbic, who won gold for Serbia in volleyball at the Sydney Olympics, spikes during the Unified Volleyball game|
Taking place on Centre Court at Stare Jablonki before the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championship Mazury 2013 men's bronze and gold medal matches, the all-star game featured four Special Olympics athletes from Poland and Serbia playing alongside Olympic champion Vladimir Grbic as well as former Poland national players Sebastian Swiderski, Pawel Papke, Zygmunt Chajzer and Cezary Pazura.
The Unified Volleyball exhibition game brought together athletes with and without intellectual disabilities as teammates to showcase the power of Special Olympics in helping to unite communities and foster an environment of acceptance and inclusion. It also served as the perfect opportunity to celebrate Grbic’s new role as Special Olympics Ambassador for volleyball and the appointment of Paul Papke and Sebastian Swiderski as Ambassadors for Special Olympics Poland.
Prior to the all-star game, Special Olympics athletes demonstrated to fans how a Unified Volleyball game works with an exhibition match with teammates without intellectual disabilities. Each team consisted of two players with intellectual disabilities and two without.
“The participation of Special Olympics at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Stare Jablonki is a great honour for us," Grbi? said. “To showcase the power of Special Olympics Unified Sports on such a huge global stage like this presents an incredible opportunity for Special Olympics to increase awareness and educate communities about acceptance and inclusion for all people.”
The FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships is the biggest beach volleyball tournament in the world. The top 192 athletes from around the world played on specially prepared courts in Stare Jablonki. The Championships are transmitted to nearly 1.65 billion TV viewers in over 130 countries across five continents.
Unified Volleyball is quickly growing in Poland. To date 100 Special Olympics athletes play volleyball with trainings and games taking place on a daily basis throughout the country. Worldwide more than 100,000 Special Olympics athletes compete in volleyball across 100 National Programmes.
For more info visit: www.specialolympics.org.
- Watch: Highlights of 2014 FIVB World Grand Prix Draw
- Legendary coach Karpol visits FIVB
- Germany ready to battle for ticket to 2014 World Champs
- And the countdown begins to the Durban Open
- Ghana, Nigeria in final phase of Women's World Championship qualification
- Record 28 teams for 2014 World Grand Prix
- Celebrating Czech Republic's 'Mini volleyball in colours'
- Mini volleyball fever takes hold of Palestine
- World League expands to 28 countries
- VIS seminar concludes in Trinidad and Tobago
- Rwanda, Kenya join Egypt to World Champs final qualification phase
- World Tour Council meets in Lausanne
- Egypt claim gold at World Champs zone 5 qualifier
- Talita and Lima confirmed as women’s rankings champs
- Alison and Emanuel announce split
- 5 teams share immaculate record after CEV Champions League third round comes to a close
- Egypt continue with another win as Rwanda edge Kenya in World Champs qualifier
- Jamaicans Hutchinson, Bryan book China ticket in style
- Trinidadian girls Ward, Davidson seal Youth Olympic spot
- Fruitful meeting for Beach Volleyball Commission
- Yet another successful year for Brazil's VivaVolei festival
- Beach Volleyball tour starts in Sierra Leone
- Impressive 56-54 set score at Korean V-League match
- Jamaica, Barbados surprise top teams for China chance
- Watch: The best of 2013 FIVB World Tour now online
- Egypt lead with second victory as Uganda register first win in World Champs qualifier
- Russian dominance ends as Brazil back at number one
- Level II coaches course gets underway in Mauritius
- One step forward for beach volleyball in Indonesia
- Egypt struggle past Kenya as Rwanda ease past Burundi in World Champs qualifier
- FIVB flourishes on Chinese social media
- Zorzi evaluates World Grand Champions Cup performances
- Volleyball workshop boosts sport in Palestine
- Media accreditation reminder for Durban Open
- Trinidad & Tobago host successful setter seminar
- Brazil win fourth World Grand Champions Cup title, Russia and Italy settle for silver and bronze
- Brazil, Russia, Italy all have a shot at Grand Champions Cup gold before last round
- With third straight victory Brazil cement their leadership at Men’s Grand Champions Cup
- Fans flock to FIVB's YouTube following historic Thailand win
- Coaches look forward to another three days of world-class volleyball
- Natalie Cook: "I'm looking forward to 2014 and beyond"
- Andrea Zorzi: 'Size and height aren’t Japan’s only problem'
- Afghanistan gives beach volleyball a jump-start
- Brazil only team with two victories as Grand Champions Cup moves to Tokyo
- Team Japan’s improvement will take time says former volleyball star Motoko Obayashi
- Iran captain says mentality has changed dramatically under Velasco’s leadership
- Andrea Zorzi reviews World Grand Champions Cup opening day
- FIVB and Rio 2016 collaborate to ensure spectacular Olympic Games
- Italy, Brazil, USA all start Men’s Grand Champions Cup on a high note
- Japan coach Manabe draws the line after winning World Grand Champions Cup bronze