World Championship organisers look ahead with confidence
The Polish Volleyball Federation was represented by its President Miroslaw Przedpelski and Vice-President Artur Popko. Polsat TV Sports Director Marian Kmita and Lukasz Sekula – board member of PL2012+, which manages the National Stadium, were also present on the organisers’ side. They were joined by Deputy Director of the Professional Sports Department Pawel Slominski, who spoke for the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism.
Polish Volleyball Federation Miroslaw Przedpelski welcomed the press to the National Stadium, which will also host the Opening Ceremony and Match of the Men's World Championship. Speaking about preparations for the tournament, Mr Przedpelski said: "Everything is going according to schedule and without any obstacles. Let me repeat what I often say – that Poland was chosen by the FIVB to organise this World Championship first and foremost because of its position as a centre of world volleyball. There is no other place like this. We have everything: the fans, the atmosphere and the organisation. We need to show the world that there is no better place to play volleyball than Poland."
Mr Przedpelski added that: "Everybody in our federation is focusing on preparations for the tournament. The Opening Ceremony is a great challenge but its organisation is well under control. This World Championship is a unique chance to boost volleyball’s popularity all around the world. New technologies will be introduced at this tournament and I’m sure that Polsat TV will do a great job in covering it all. I’m very glad that the whole world will see this."
Polish Volleyball Federation Vice-President Artur Popko said: "First of all, I’d like to assure you that our preparations are drawing to an end. We are thinking of the Opening Match at the National Stadium and working on it as a separate event. Over three thousand people will be working at the stadium during the Opening Ceremony. The most difficult and nervous moment was the opening of ticket sales but our fans didn’t let us down and the tickets for the National Stadium disappeared in 100 minutes. Tickets for the other arenas are also selling well. The teams will be playing in a total of seven venues. The competition branding has been set up at the host cities and an one can feel an atmosphere of expectation at the venues. The branding of the venues is part of a new initiative by the FIVB. It‘s very attractive and well suited for such a prestigious event – not to mention that it matches our national colours well."
Mr Popko also commented on the competition's legacy: "What remains after the World Championship is also important for us. All kinds of activities and events promoting volleyball among children and youth have been going on in the host cities and those will surely be continued. Thanks to the Ministry of Sport we will also have the Mini World Championship. The Trophy Tour made it possible for the fans to see the new trophy with their own eyes – something that has never been done before. The Polish Volleyball Federation is ready for the World Championship. All formalities are either already completed or being finalized right now."
Pawel Slominski, who spoke on behalf of the Polish Ministry of Sport and Tourism, said: "This is the second event of such scale and importance in the history of Polish sport. The Ministry of Sport supports volleyball in Poland. We subsidise the training of the national teams – not only seniors but also other age groups and beach volleyball – and let’s not forget the volleyball schools. In 2014, the Ministry donated PLN 31.5 million to the PVF – the highest subsidy among sports federations in Poland. I’m saying this with a sense of satisfaction, because cooperation with the Polish Volleyball Federation has been perfect. The schooling system created by the PVF seems ideal. We have also subsidised the renovation of competition halls, like Bydgoszcz’s Luczniczka. Financial support for the organisation of the World Championship in Poland has also been given by the Ministry. And as a fan, I’m counting on our national team to get a hold of a medal."
Lukasz Sekula described Polsat TV's role in the competition: "In 25 days, more than 62 thousand spectators will have a chance to take part in the Opening Match of the World Championship. The National Stadium is proud to host the biggest sports event in this country – two years after Euro 2012. For us it is most important to provide the highest quality in organising the event and we are cooperating with the PVF to achieve this."
Polsat TV Sports Director Marian Kmita commented that: "This is the biggest TV production in the sports history of Polsat TV. It’s our pride. For 15 years, we did what we could to make volleyball a part of our everyday life. We invested not only money but also a lot of heart. Surely, this event would not be held in Poland without Polsat TV."
The demand for the World Championship from fans has surpassed initial estimations and half a million tickets have been sold. The TV coverage of the opening match will involve three production trucks, 30 cameras (including Spidercam and Super Slow Mo cameras) and 300 crew members. There will be daily news coverage of the competition on all Polsat TV channels and four special PPV channels will make it possible to show all of the matches live, with all Polsat and Polkomtel clients getting these channels at no additional cost.
Mr Kmita concluded that: "We hope that this will lead to integration among fans and in the special Fan Zones. I hope that this event well leave us proud and with a medal. It will be a fantastic experience for everyone."