Only a few hours away from the eagerly anticipated climax of a drama filled CEV EuroVolley 2023 Men, the members of the European Volleyball family came together in Rome for a gala held at the iconic Villa Piccolomini to celebrate the CEV’s golden jubilee. Some 50 years ago, the forefathers of European Volleyball had officially established the European Volleyball Confederation on September 9, 1973, in The Hague – and since those early days, Volleyball in Europe has simply gone from strength to strength.
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Rachele Sangiuliano, a former member of the Italian women’s national team now working as a TV presenter and pundit, did host an event where sports, music, arts, culture were nicely combined and all played their role in celebrating five decades of European Volleyball history, while looking forward to what lies ahead.
CEV President Aleksandar Boričić emphasised:
“I am incredibly proud of standing here and celebrating 50 years since the CEV was officially established and to do so together with all of you. I feel and regard myself as the coach leading our 56 National Federations. We obviously look back at the journey that we have gone through with much pride – but we shall start working already now for the next 50 years so that we can provide the younger generations with even more and better opportunities to grow and shine.”
FIVB President Dr Ary Graça F° was among the many honorary guests in attendance: “I wish to congratulate the CEV President and all of you on this golden anniversary but especially on the tremendous transformation that European Volleyball has experienced under the leadership of Mr Boričić. This is something you can see for yourself here tonight in this wonderful location – and that I could witness last night during the EuroVolley semis too. The passion, enjoyment and involvement of the audience were simply spine-tingling. I can only hope and wish that you will continue to work with the same spirit and strive for further innovation, while being ready to share and transfer your experiences to other continents as well.”
The FIVB President received a special medal in recognition of his support to the European Volleyball family and as a sign of friendship and mutual respect between the two organisations.
The gala was an opportunity to acknowledge and award the CEV’s long-time partners – such as Infront and Mikasa - for their contribution to the continuous efforts made to grow Volleyball at all levels. Moreover, the Presidents of all National Federations, as well as all members of the CEV Board of Administration received specially designed medals to celebrate the CEV’s golden jubilee.
Other guests to receive such memorabilia were the President of the Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) and IOC member, Giovanni Malagò, the President of the Croatian Olympic Committee and CEV Volleyball Ambassador, Mr Zlatko Mateša, as well as the Presidents of the Continental Confederations governing Volleyball in Asia (AVC), Ms Rita Subowo, and South America (CSV), Mr Marco Tullio Teixeira, and FIVB General Director Fabio Azevedo.
CEV Managing Director Thorsten Endres received a medal too to acknowledge the hard work and efforts made by the staff working at the CEV headquarters in Luxembourg.
Other highlights of a truly memorable night included live music performances, a surprise celebration of the CEV President’s and wife’s 50 years of marriage and a pyrotechnic show to cap it all off.
In his final address, the CEV President echoed the words he said only a couple of weeks ago at the CEV XLIV General Assembly in Brussels:
“I invite you once again to stick together and to work together for the good of our sport. Only this way will we be much stronger, and Volleyball will continue to thrive and go from strength to strength for another 50 years and further on.”