FIVB and United Nations intensifying their partnership with grassroots project

As of next year, the FIVB will become one of the partners of the Youth Leadership Camps organized by the UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace (UNOSDP).

These camps provide theoretical and practical training and skills development to young role models working in grassroots and community Sport for Development and Peace projects in order to enable them to better use sport to positively impact their communities. The FIVB will send certified volleyball coaches to future editions of the camp and the FIVB Heroes campaign will also be integrated. The FIVB Heroes are themselves role models for fans and aspiring players alike, so the opportunity to work together with UNOSDP on their Youth Leadership Camps (YLC) is a perfect fit. The FIVB Heroes will both raise the profile of the YLC initiative, as well as provide valuable knowledge and experience to its participants.

FIVB outgoing President Jizhong Wei illustrated the positive contribution of volleyball for promoting development and peace: “Over a number of years, we have launched and run many projects and initiatives that link our goals and visions with those of the UN, especially with regard to promoting “Sport for All”, such as the Volleyball Cooperation Programme, Volley All Festival, Cool Volley, Development Centres, the Development Fund, and Mass Volley. Developing the sport of volleyball at the grassroots level definitely has a positive impact on the participants and on their communities. I hope that through our partnership, we can increase that impact by bringing both of our organisations´ expertise and experience to bear in improving the lives of people who find themselves in difficult situations.”

“Access to sport, physical activity and play is a fundamental right for everyone. It is important that we join efforts in fighting stigmatization and discrimination that prevent people from taking part in sport,” explained UN Special Adviser Wilfried Lemke. He continued: “Projects on the ground, even smaller ones, are effective multipliers for social good and the role models in their communities are important agents of change. Sport goes beyond winning medals. Sport teaches about the values of life, self-confidence and positive relationships. Sport is able to transform community attitudes and empower individuals.”.

He also highlighted the importance of encouraging access to sport for people from all cultures and origins: “I have been extremely encouraged by the recent rule changes to the Beach Volleyball competitions, which now permits beach volley players to dress according to their cultural values. This change will allow for players from all cultures and countries to compete in the FIVB competitions.”

Mr Lemke recognised outgoing FIVB President Wei’s role in initiating the global FIVB-UN partnership last year and hoped to be able to still draw on his experience going forward and looked forward to working with new President Dr Ary Graça.