President Graça delivers inspiring opening speech at FIVB World Congress


President Graça speaks to the delegates at the 35th FIVB World Congress

Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 5, 2016 - FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça F° today addressed the 35th FIVB World Congress with an inspiring opening speech where he shared the success that volleyball has achieved over the last four years and looked ahead to the sport’s promising future as it aims to become the number one family sport entertainment in the world.

President Graça began his address by highlighting the importance of the Congress as an opportunity for the global volleyball family to come together and as an opportunity to build on the sport’s recent success.  He then took the time to reflect on the sport’s rapid development and the federation’s great progress towards achieving its vision.

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“We have changed our sport’s landscape by introducing the latest sports technology.  We have started to engage with fans through these new innovations. We now have new ways to tell the stories of our competitions,” he told the Congress. 

“Like our athletes, we work every day to be better. We work hard to improve the way we perform. Because we know in this way, all of the improvements can make some big steps forward.

“In Rio, we took a very big step forward. There can be no doubt about this.”

FIVB President told the Congress "like our athletes, we work every day to be better"

The 35th FIVB World Congress, which is taking place in Buenos Aires, marks the end of President Graça’s four-year mandate as FIVB President.  Volleyball has experienced an impressive surge in popularity since 2012 and is living in a golden era following successful World Championships in both volleyball and beach volleyball and the best ever Olympic Games in Rio.

President Graça is standing unopposed for re-election at Congress in Buenos Aires and is already urging volleyball’s national federations around the world to continue their hard work in building towards a successful future. 

“For this congress to be successful, the communication must go in every direction. Many of you have great stories about the ways you have developed volleyball and beach volleyball in your countries. There are great stories about athlete development, about commercial development, about improved governance, about ways to see our sport played in schools and so much more,” he said. 

President Graça with Argentina National Olympic Committee President and IOC member Dr. Gerardo Werthein

“We must share these stories so we can learn from each other. The tools for making our success in the future are in this room. All we have to do now is to make sure everybody knows how to use the tools. We must decide the shape of what we will build and how we will put the pieces together.”

Argentina National Olympic Committee President and IOC member Dr Gerardo Werthein was one of the special VIPs who attended the Opening Ceremony and told the delegates how important volleyball is for the country of Argentina.

The special guests respecting the FIVB anthem and the Argentina national anthem

“It is a great pleasure to have you here in Argentina,” he said. “Volleyball has been one of the main sports and we continue to keep on growing and organizing events. As you know the 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be here in Buenos Aires and it is another great opportunity for beach volleyball to showcase its wonderful appeal of athletism and skill.

“For Argentina, volleyball is very important. Not only do we like it but we are also big fans. It is a sport which is growing fast and it’s on its way to the top.”

Argentina National Olympic Committee President and IOC member Dr. Gerardo Werthein

Also joining FIVB President Dr. Graça for the special opening ceremony was Argentina Tourism Minister José Gustavo Santos, Argentina Sports Secretary Carlos MacAllister and Argentina Volleyball Federation President Juan Antonio Gutierrez.

Mr MacAllister commended the FIVB Congress delegates for the work they are doing in their respective countries.

Argentina Sports Secretary Carlos MacAllister 

"For us, it is an honour to have you here having chosen Argentina to host the Congress," he said. "I want to commend you all and to all your leaders in your countries. Thanks to you there are less children on the streets and less crime.

"The thousands of leaders around the world, the people who work with you and your teams, they are the real heroes. Those who take people away from the streets and crime. Sport plays such an important role in that."

Argentina Tourism Minister José Gustavo Santos

The FIVB Congress is being held at the Hilton Buenos Aires from October 5-6 with a workshop for National Federations in categories 1 & 2 held on October 4. This year’s Congress is an electoral one with current FIVB President Dr. Graça standing unopposed. 

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