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Serbian volleyball family vows to help following flood devastation

Venues usually used for volleyball and other sports are serving as emergency housing following floods across the Balkans
Belgrade, Serbia, May 20, 2014 – The Serbian Volleyball Federation has promised to help out as best it can following devastating floods across the country and other Balkan nations. 

A state of emergency has been declared after 35 people died in Serbia and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina after the River Sava, which runs off Europe's largest river, the Danube, burst following unprecedented levels of rainfall. 

Over 100,000 homes and buildings have been destroyed, two-thirds of Serbia's landmass has been left under water and roads and bridges have been destroyed. Furthermore entire villages have been wiped out, electricity is scarce and drinking water has been badly affected. 

“We, as the athletes who have represented and defended the country and its people all of our lives, will definitely respond and help,” Serbia Volleyball Federation vice-president Vladimir Grbic said. “The Volleyball Federation of Serbia and people involved in this sport always gave their best in previous occasions. How and in what way, it does not matter. It is our duty.”

Whole cities and villages have been evacuated to the cities not affected by the disaster and with the suspension of all sporting events by the Ministry of Youth and Sports Serbia's pre-FIVB World League matches against Iran, which were due to take place on May 21, 22 and 23 have been postponed, with the teams taking part in joint training sessions instead.

With Serbia due to host matches in the upcoming FIVB World League, former national team coach Zoran Gajic has suggested donating the profits from their matches against Russia, Bulgaria and USA to help the victims of the floods. 

There are also ways to contribute to the disaster fund on the Serbian federation's website,

“At the moment solidarity is the most important thing and all Serbians citizens are showing that right now,” men’s coach Igor Kolakovic said. “Our response will be organized, and we as a team will take part in it. The Volleyball Federation of Serbia and all those involved in volleyball will assist in helping out in the aftermath of the disaster.”


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