FIVB President describes 2021 as landmark year for volleyball and beach volleyball

FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° reflects on 2021, a year of excellence both on and off the court

Dear members of the global Volleyball Family, Dear friends,

I can think of no other year in the history of our sport where such a giant leap of progress has been made.

Indeed, 2021 has truly been a landmark year for the FIVB and global Volleyball Family. This is due in no small part to our cutting-edge partnership with CVC Capital Partners and the subsequent launch of Volleyball World, the commercial entity for the sport worldwide.

We found a partner with the experience, network and capital to support the FIVB in its mission to further professionalise the administration of volleyball for the benefit of fans, players and National Federations.

Through this partnership, we have not merely elevated our beloved sport a few rungs up the ladder, we have skyrocketed it to previously unimaginable heights. And this is the trajectory we will continue on in 2022.

This year will of course also forever be remembered as the year volleyball returned to its Olympic birthplace, 57 years after the sport debuted at Tokyo 1964. I must thank our friends at the IOC, the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, the Japanese government and the people of Japan for delivering an extremely successful Games in the face of very difficult circumstances.

For the global Volleyball Family, this was an emotional moment in our history which showcased just how far our sport has come. In the Ariake Arena, one of the most beautiful venues of the Games, the world’s best women’s and men’s teams left it all out on court while hundreds of millions of fans worldwide watched safely from their homes. Meanwhile, in Shiokaze Park, the world’s top beach volleyball players once again showcased why it is the most charming sport on the Olympic programme.

To become an Olympic champion in volleyball and beach volleyball takes great skill, tactical execution, athleticism and talent. But it also takes perseverance and teamwork in abundance. Indeed, nothing can be achieved in our sport without teamwork, and this is exactly the mentality that the professional FIVB team adopts off the court.

Over the past year, we continued to develop volleyball and beach volleyball by reinvesting the money that comes from the sport back into the sport through both targeted and application-based support. And this is a commitment we will never waver from.

In particular, we launched our revolutionary Volleyball Empowerment programme, a year-round development programme where we support national teams, athletes and National Federations to achieve their goals and reach their full potential.  

This development support across all corners of the globe would not have been possible without the strong financial foundation established by the FIVB’s leadership, in addition to our groundbreaking partnership with CVC Capital Partners.

Meanwhile, our sport’s digital presence continued to grow at a tremendous rate during 2021. Volleyball World’s digital channels – Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok and Twitter – now boast over 13.4 million followers, representing an increase of 3.4 million since March of 2020. And in October, we celebrated reaching over one million followers on TikTok.

I can already say that 2022 is shaping up to be an incredible year for our beloved sport with the men’s and women’s FIVB Volleyball World Championships, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships and the inaugural season of the new Beach Pro Tour all set to take place. The future of volleyball and beach volleyball has never been brighter!

I would like to thank you all for your commitment to volleyball and beach volleyball over the past year. We can all be proud of what we have achieved through professionalism, teamwork and our relentless passion for this sport.

So please use the weeks ahead to spend some precious time with loved ones and to recharge for what will be an action-packed 2022.

I wish you all season’s greetings and a happy new year!

Yours in sport,

Dr Ary S. Graça F° 

FIVB President