XXXIV CEV General Assembly gets underway in Copenhagen
Copenhagen, Denmark, September 27, 2013 - CEV President André Meyer opened on Friday morning the annual CEV General Assembly by addressing a very emotional speech to the representatives of 53 national federations as well as to the many illustrious guests – including FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F°, the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen, and the CEO of Sport Event Denmark, Lars Lundov – that were also in attendance.
The CEV President recalled that 2013 has been a very special year for volleyball in Europe: “The XXXIV CEV General Assembly taking place here in Copenhagen rounds out a very busy but memorable year for Europe’s volleyball family; as some of you may well remember, only some months ago we all got together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg to celebrate the 40th anniversary since the establishment of our Confederation as well as to officially unveil the state-of-the-art premises owned by CEV in Luxembourg City. At that time we were very honoured to host FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° who is in attendance also today to testify his closeness to our volleyball family and his appreciation for the work that is being done here in Europe for the good of volleyball and beach volleyball.”
Mr. Meyer was particularly happy to stress the sense of unity showed by the members: “Our volleyball family has been showing in recent times a sense of cohesion and unity that we can only be proud of. That is what I also feel today as I open our annual Congress with 53 out of 55 members in attendance with their delegates or being represented by proxy. The volleyball community that comes together today here in Denmark’s capital city is bound to work hard for the good of the sport and ready to take up the challenges that we may be confronted with along the way.”
The CEV President did also recall the goals of an innovative action that CEV did start some time ago. “Fair Play – Volleyball Way. This is the refrain of a special campaign we have established a few months ago and I hope you have already got familiar with. This is much more than a pure motto or a slogan; this is the quintessence of our sport and also of our interaction with all of you. As our players do show fair play and honesty out there as they play for glory, we have to emulate their spirit and do the same as we join our forces to work for the promotion and development of volleyball across Europe."
Though the last months have been extremely fruitful for volleyball in Europe, Mr. Meyer said the volleyball family is already looking forward to the next challenges: “We do not want to slow down our pace or rest on our laurels. Similarly to any other organization or institution, our confederation is ready to embark on innovative projects, take up the next challenges and explore new ways to make sure we continue setting the pace for volleyball and beach volleyball also on the international arena.
“To finish my opening address”, the CEV President said, “I would like to express my sincere thanks to the Danish Volleyball Federation and its President, Mr. Erik Jacobsen, as well as to the local authorities who have been working hard on their way to welcome Europe’s volleyball family to Denmark and more specifically to Copenhagen. We all know that this city and this country are well-known for their hospitality but also for their professionalism when it comes to the organization of international events and this Congress and EuroVolley do stand apart from anything we have experienced so far. I wish you all very fruitful working sessions hoping that in the end we will come together and agree upon key points to work on in order to continue pursuing our mission and let people feel and understand what volleyball is all about: team spirit, passion, and fair play.”
The welcome speech by Mr. Meyer was followed by a few words addressed to the delegates by FIVB President Dr. Ary Graça F°: “I am very glad to be here and honoured to be in the city of Copenhagen where my home town Rio de Janeiro got the right to stage the 2016 Olympics. I am here to listen to you, more than to speak, as you have a great know-how and expertise that we want to share with everyone who works for the good of volleyball all over the world.”
The President of the Danish Volleyball Federation Erik Jacobsen said: “It is a great pleasure to host you here. A small country like Denmark is able to host international events mainly thanks to the many volunteers that are always ready to help us. We have got some 400 who these days are involved in the EuroVolley as well as in helping stage this Congress. I wish you all a pleasant stay in Copenhagen; I also hope you will enjoy world class volleyball in Parken where the semis and finals of the European Championship will be played this weekend.”
Thomas Bach, Board member at the Danish Olympic Committee, also addressed the audience: “It is a special day because not every day a worldwide sport like volleyball is so heavily represented on Danish soil. We are proud that you have given Denmark the opportunity to host the General Assembly as well as the EuroVolley. We hope they both will be a success. I know the Danish Volleyball Federation has worked very hard to make this a success. In Denmark Volleyball is a small sport but we hope this will change in the future, as I feel the EuroVolley will inspire many kids to start playing volleyball, not only in the four host cities, but all over the country. Our national team did so by making the Playoffs. It was a fairy tale, a dream that came true and the big teams will now decide who will be the next European champions. I hope you all agree that Denmark now deserves a place on the map of your sport”.
“It is a great pleasure to welcome you and the city of Copenhagen is proud to host the EuroVolley as well as your General Assembly” said the Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen. “We have staged many international sports events, and we love every single athlete and moment we have been able to share. We may not be the greatest volleyball nation in the world but we hope we will be the greatest host. Please take a little time to have a look around, so as to understand why Copenhagen was recently chosen as the most liveable city in the world. Enjoy the green and open atmosphere of this city. I wish you will enjoy fabulous volleyball and a successful Congress”.
To finish it off with the opening speeches, Lars Lundov, CEO of Sport Event Denmark, said: “Our aim is to attract and host major international sports events in Denmark. We have staged the World Congress in many sports in the past few years as well as the IOC Session in 2009. This year we are staging no less than nine European Championships. When we are hosting such events in Denmark, we always try to add something new like we are doing with the semis and finals of the EuroVolley with the unique set-up at Parken national stadium. It will be a great volleyball party for the athletes as well as for the fans. This will cement the position of Denmark as a serious sports host nation all over Europe and in the world as well for more than 160 countries will televise the final act the Championship”.