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CEV President opens XXXV General Assembly in Antalya

CEV President André Meyer portrayed during his opening speech at the XXXV CEV General Assembly in Antalya, Turkey
Antalya, Turkey, October 24, 2014 - CEV President André Meyer opened the XXXV CEV General Assembly on a sunny Friday afternoon at the Kempinski Hotel - The Dome in Antalya with 48 national federations in attendance, six represented by proxy and one observer to account for all 55 of the CEV members. As Turkey’s most popular holiday destination is playing host to this year’s summit of Europe’s Volleyball family, Mr Meyer delivered an emotional speech marking his thirteenth year at the helm of the European Confederation.

The opening of the CEV Congress was attended also by the General Secretary of the Lord Mayor of Antalya and by the Mayor of Belek, the neighbourhood where the CEV General Assembly is taking place. The President of the Turkish Volleyball Federation Özkan Mutlugil read out to the audience a message sent by Turkey’s Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr Akif Cagatay Kilic.

“Let me welcome you all here in Antalya to the XXXV CEV General Assembly. As you know, the organisation of an annual Congress is required by our statutes. However, this is much more than an obligation defined by law,” the CEV President said. “It is also and most of all a moment where people driven by the same passion come together, learn from one another and enjoy some wee chats thereby sharing ideas, inputs, and know-how, something which is beneficial and instrumental to the further growth and development of our sport.”

The CEV President then drove the audience’s attention to one of the milestones of the past months: “There is one key thing I would like to focus on: participation. It all begins with activities and participation,” he stated. “As they say, numbers never lie and the last 12 months have broken all-time records especially in terms of your participation in European competitions. This applies to both Volleyball and Beach Volleyball as well as to all age-groups. If you start from such figures, you may easily say that a lot of work has been done at the grass-roots level by all of you but we shall strengthen our efforts since this is the best pre-condition for a bright future of our sport.”

Mr Meyer also stated his and the CEV commitment to support all national federations in their efforts to work for the development of the sport: “I would like to re-affirm the total commitment of our Confederation which is always at your side and ready to assist anyone who is willing to work hard for the good of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. Actions are being undertaken to make sure you receive all the support you may need in order to open a new era for Volleyball in your respective countries.”

One other inspirational item was specifically addressed by Mr Meyer in his opening speech: “There is one more thing I would like to draw your attention to: innovation. But please remember: innovation is all about what’s new and what’s next. And it’s about that exciting leap you take into uncharted territory. Sometimes you may be afraid of exploring such ways and paths, but this is the only chance you have to improve. Any innovation process requires patience and commitment but also the willingness to refresh the things we are used to, in other words our everyday routine,” he said. “If we want to progress and to improve, we have to innovate: in this sense sport is not different to any other business. And this commitment to innovation is much more than a slogan or just a statement. We will be showing here facts and figures which epitomise our innovative vision and strategy for the future of our sport.”

After extending to the attendees the regards of FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° who could not attend the General Assembly for other commitments, the CEV President concluded his speech with a few inspirational words: “Somebody once said that “talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” That is particularly true for those – like each one of you who is in attendance here – who are supposed to steer the governance and management of a team sport. With teamwork, any little contribution you make generates greater output by meeting the contribution of others and in the end everyone in the team gets the plus. The unity and cohesion of our Volleyball family are our strength. When there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved!”


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