FIVB President joins CEV Volleyball Gala

The event was held at Bozar Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels

FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° recently joined the Volleyball Family at the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) Volleyball Gala in Brussels to celebrate Europe’s latest achievements and biggest volleyball stars.

The ceremony, organised on Friday night in the Belgian capital, continues a tradition that started almost three decades ago whereby the Drawing of Lots for the pool stages of the elite CEV Champions League is held at the very same venue earlier in the evening.

The list of awardees was truly impressive and began with the Male and Female Volleyball Players of the Year, Kamil Semeniuk and Isabelle Haak. Their respective former coaches at club level, Gheorghe Cretu and Giovanni Guidetti, claimed the Men’s and Women’s Coach of the Year award respectively.

Tanja Hüberli and Nina Brunner won the award for Women’s Beach Volleyball Team of the Year, while the Men’s Beach Volleyball Team of the Year award could only go the way of Anders Mol and Christian Sørum, aka the Beach Volley Vikings. It is therefore fitting that the distinction for Beach Volleyball Coach of the Year again went, for the third consecutive time, to their mentor (and Anders’s father) Kåre Mol.

Meanwhile, the CEV Event of the Year award went to ACTS which was represented by its CEO and founder, Hannes Jagerhofer, for the successful organisation of the inaugural CEV Beach Volley Nations Cup.

The FIVB President together with CEV President Aleksandar Boričić and the newly appointed European Volleyball Ambassador, Mr Philippe Blatter

Discussing the event, FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° said:

“It is always a great pleasure to join the European volleyball family in celebrating the greatest achievements of volleyball and beach volleyball in Europe under the strong leadership of CEV President Aleksandar Boričić. I am very proud to see how European volleyball has grown over the past few years and I look forward to achieving new milestones together in the months and years ahead.”

CEV President Aleksandar Boričić said:

“Tonight, we celebrate the achievements of the past 12 months, but we shall already look forward to the next season and more success. I wish to thank the FIVB and their President for the good cooperation – together we are trying to elevate the sport to the next level, and we are doing so in close cooperation with all those attending tonight’s Gala. This event in Belgium is only the first step on the way that will take us to the EuroVolley Women Finals due to take place in 2023 here in Brussels.”

In addition to acknowledging the achievements of the past 12 months, the 2022 edition of the CEV Volleyball Gala was also an opportunity to recognise those who have spent their whole lives working for the good of the sport. As such, Argentina-born Julio Velasco, the mentor who forged the Italian golden generation that ruled international volleyball in the late 1980s and 90s, and Frauke Dirickx, a legend of volleyball in Belgium, became recipients of the CEV Lifetime Achievement Award.

Finally, FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça joined Aleksandar Boričić on stage while the CEV President bestowed the title of European Volleyball Ambassador upon Mr Philippe Blatter, the President and CEO of the CEV’s official media partner, in recognition of a long, successful partnership that has helped elevate volleyball and the profile of the sport to unprecedented levels.