NIVolleyball on European Volleyball Confederation 38th General Assembly in Krakow Poland 2017.
I am delighted to report that Northern Ireland (NIR) was , along with the hosts POL and the CYP federations, the largest delegation attending the 38th Annual CEV General Assemblies in Krakow (31 Aug-03 Sep 2017).
The NIR delegation with myself as 1st Delegate, Joanna McCrory as 2nd and Observers Ewelina Chojnacka and Mrs Marie Murphy, attended both the Small Countries Division CEVSCD General Assembly and the following day’s CEV General Assembly, as well as being VIP Guests at the European Men’s Championships semi finals and finals in the magnificent Tauron Arena on consequent days. We carried the proxy for Wales meaning all CEV’s 56 Federations attended. The rather stolid sessions of the past were avoided in the new look Assembly presentation compered by Olympic Beach Gold Medallist and US Dancing With The Stars performer Julius Brink of Germany. A half day was given over to panel discussions on Competitions, Schools, Governance and Social media which produced some very good discussion from the floor even when the main presenters were a bit disappointing. The exception was the Schools panel and much interest and encouragement was shown for NIR work on this by CEV staff and other National Federations.
Lost & Found
Both CEV President Aleksandr Boricic and SCD President Margaret Ann Fleming were among the many who gave the NIR Delegation a most warm and enthusiastic welcome.
One of our party lost their telephone after the semifinals at the Tauron Arena but thanks to phone GPS and my sending a text to the lost phone, a call came in from the Polish fan who had found it and the handset was collected at that family’s home the following morning saving a great deal of angst and upset for our delegation.
We participated fully in less formal events hosted by CEV and Polish Federation, allowing interaction and networking connections to be renewed or established between NIR and CEV members. This is continuing the good relations established by NIVA Presidents Irena and Paul , General Secretaries Patrick and Johnny, and previous Coach/Development Officers Nick, Alastair Dudman and, in recent years , again, Paul McIlwaine.
Joanna has opened in particular exciting opportunities of future links with POL. The new English President, Keith Nicholls, has pledged to return to a more positive and collaborative relationship within the British Isles that has lapsed in recent times, and in particular, the possible re-establishment of a British Championship perhaps at a level to recover ground lost with the Youth Trust having dropped volleyball from UKSG and to establishing a Beach Volleyball competition following the widely applauded Portrush Zonal Event in August. Further discussions on Beach Events and “Wild Cards” will continue between SCD and CEV as will the new regulations for competitions, child protection and anti-doping.
I am grateful as ever to my wife Marie who has proven an able and personable ambassador for NIR at Assemblies and Congresses in the past and once more in Krakow. But in particular, the first experience of both Joanna and Ewelina in Krakow was, I hope, positive for them as they were in brilliantly representing NIR. No venue has been chosen for the 2018 General Assembly as CEV negotiate with FIVB a coincidence of venue. Originally FIVB plan to go to the Dominican Republic next year and CEV would then meet there a day before the FIVB Congress but recent weather events and other issues may mean that this coinciding of meetings may not be possible. It was explained in an answer to my earlier question why we need an annual meeting and not more economically every 2 years , that CEV is constituted in Luxembourg law which requires a mandatory annual meeting.
The Men’s Finals produuced 2 thrilling 5 setters before Russia took gold from Germany who had come from 2-0 down in their semi with Serbia to victory. The Serbs beat Belgium, one of the big surprises of this year’s championships, 3-0 for the Bronze medals.
Full details of the Assemblies and Championships are on www.cev.lu and will be followed by the Small Countries Division Reports in due course. Thank You again to Joanna, Ewelina and Marie and to the NIVolleyball Board for its confidence in me with the delegation.
by Paddy Murphy