CEV Beach Volleyball Coordinators seminar opens in Milan with record-breaking attendance
Mr. Arena expressed his pride for the impressive attendance registered for the seminar that is being hosted in one out of four Regional Volleyball Development Centers officially recognized as such by FIVB and CEV in Europe (the others being located in Azerbaijan, England, and Luxembourg). The EBVC President enjoyed this opportunity to review the main facts and figures of a memorable 2013 season which featured an unprecedented number of tournaments next to the major highlight represented by the CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship Final held in Klagenfurt, Austria.
The 2013 season coincided with the launch of a special Youth Development Project funded by the FIVB and whose core is represented by the inaugural CEV Youth Beach Volleyball Continental Cup. To follow up on the Continental Cup whereby one team per gender ultimately qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London, the CEV turned into the sole Continental Confederation to set up a similar qualification process for the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing, China, where Beach Volleyball will debut on the program. Mr. Arena – joined by the CEV Beach Volleyball Coordinators Dennis Passig and George Gagalis – recalled that more than 30 countries joined the Zonal Phase held from May through late August 2013 in 8 different venues, with the finals coming up in May next year to determine the six teams per gender that will compose the European contingent for Nanjing 2014.
The EBVC President also stressed that two mass festivals held in England and the Netherlands were also supported by the CEV in 2013 and presented a first draft of the calendar for next year, which includes a series of Masters tournaments, the European Championship Final in Rome as well as the first stage of the Continental Cup that is set to come to a close in 2016 thereby qualifying teams to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
The 2013 season was a very successful one for Beach Volleyball in Europe but more is to come, promised Mr. Arena who also thanked the CEV Board of Administration and especially CEV President André Meyer for the support received in re-structuring and helping widen the CEV Beach Volleyball portfolio.
The seminar will continue through Sunday morning and includes also a session where three National Federations will be sharing their expertise and know-how with all attendees focusing on their respective development projects conceived for promoting Beach Volleyball in schools (Poland), working with elite teams (Germany) and supporting grassroots activities (Netherlands).
The invitation to the seminar was extended also to four North African countries within the frame of a special development project which is being coordinated by the Italian Volleyball Federation.
With a record-breaking 47 National Federations in attendance, additional international flavor is added by the Tunisian delegate, thereby showing a sense of unity and cohesion that is shared by all those who are working for the good of Beach Volleyball.