Bretaye, Villars-sur-Ollon, January 19, 2020 - Hundreds of young children and families celebrated World Snow Day with the FIVB as Snow Volleyball Festival drew to a successful close earlier today.
The temporary snow volleyball court, created in Bretaye in the Swiss Alps region of Villars-sur-Allon, was full with boys and girls of all ages trying out the cool new winter sport. The picturesque location, combined with the excited atmosphere, gave Snow Volleyball Festival a great buzz and it was clear that participants were enjoying their first experience of the sport.
Snow volleyball can be played by everyone no matter what their level of experience, and has the same core skills as indoor and beach volleyball, which makes it possible for existing players to transfer their abilities. It is therefore a winter sport open to athletes from traditionally summer-sport nations.
Kids enjoyed playing snow volleyball in the Swiss Alps
The ninth edition of World Snow Day, created to encourage young people to the joy of snow sports, featured 363 events and activities take place in 45 countries around the world, including free or discounted ski lessons, equipment rental and lift passes, as well as free sandboarding lessons in some southern hemisphere countries.
It is the first time the FIVB has participated, and Snow Volleyball Festival offered young people and families a different type of winter activity.
“While not a traditional winter sport, the creativity of snow volleyball gives children a different way to explore, enjoy and experience the snow," Andrew Cholinski, FIS Coordinator for Bring Children to the Snow, said.
For the second day running, Olympic volleyball legends were on hand to offer advice and tips for budding snow volleyball athletes. Gilberto ‘Giba’ Amauri Godoy Filho, Vladimir Grbic and Elizaveta Bracht-Tishchenko combined with beach volleyball Olympic champion Julius Brink and Austrian snow volleyball star Florian Schnetzer to offer snow volleyball master classes, as well as competing in exhibition matches throughout the day.
There were also a number of visits from leading members of the Olympic family and wider sports movement, including GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli, who took to the court to try out snow volleyball for himself.
FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graca F (left) with the GAISF President Raffaele Chiulli at Snow Volleyball Festival
“It was truly wonderful to see so many families playing and enjoying snow volleyball over the last two days,” FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça Fᵒ said. “As part of World Snow Day, we have created a great atmosphere for people to enjoy the snow, and I believe many of the young people who have participated in Snow Volleyball Festival this weekend will continue to play this sport.
“Our goal for Snow Volleyball Festival was to provide an opportunity for young people to play volleyball in a different format, and we have achieved this. We will now look ahead to developing the sport even further around the world.”