Herrara and Gavira’s Beach Pro Tour triumph inspires next generation of Spanish talent

FIVB Volleyball Empowerment has supported the development of Spain’s youth beach volleyball teams since 2018

Spain’s beach volleyball veterans Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira won gold at the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour La Paz Challenge earlier month, and their first gold since 2018 is serving as inspiration for Spain’s young talent who are already benefitting from FIVB Volleyball Empowerment support.

The 40-year-old Herrera and the 35-year-old Gavira have been an elite beach volleyball pair since 2009. The Spanish duo returned to the top of the podium this month for the first time since June 2018, when they took gold at the FIVB World Tour event in Ostrava. Their victory in La Paz also happened eight years after their first triumph as partners in Moscow in 2015.

The pair’s longevity on the circuit and latest Beach Pro Tour Challenge gold will serve as a powerful motivator to Spain’s aspiring young talent, as the Royal Spanish Volleyball Federation (RFEVB) aims to ensure sustained talent development pathways with the help of the world leading FIVB Volleyball Empowerment programme.

The RFEVB has benefitted from support totalling 180,000 CHF for its youth and high-performance beach volleyball programmes since 2018, with 12 months of coach support in 2018, 2019, 2020 and an additional two years approved in 2021.

FIVB President Dr Ary S. Graça F° commented:

“I have always said that developing national teams and creating strong role models are key to inspiring the next generation of players. This is why Volleyball Empowerment is aimed at investing in the development of national teams to help them reach their full potential. We have invested over 180,000 CHF in supporting Spanish youth beach volleyball since 2018, and they are seeing good results in both the youth and senior categories which is testament to the strong system they are building.

“Herrera and Gavira showed great determination, resilience and teamwork in La Paz, and these are very important values on the sand. I have no doubt that Spain’s youth look up to Herrara and Gavira who show that with great effort and hard work, you can have a long career in beach volleyball and continue performing at the highest level.”

Liliana Fernаndez and Paulo Soria in action during the recent Beach Pro Tour Elite16 Tepic event

While Herrera and Gavira have been familiar faces on the men’s side, on the women’s side Liliana Fernаndez and Elsa Baquerizo have long flown the Spanish flag. Last year, following her return to the sand after giving birth to her second child, Fernandez joined forces with Paula Soria in her mission to qualify for Paris 2024 in what would be her fourth consecutive Olympic Games.

More recently, however, new faces have appeared on the elite circuit, including the talented duo of Tania Moreno and Daniela Álvarez. Both players earned sports scholarships with the Texas Christian University and are honing their skills in America where they quickly rose to first in the NCAA rankings.

Tania Moreno hits against the block of compatriot Paula Soria in the all-Spanish qualifier duel

The pair are also combining their time at college with representing Spanish at the international level, with one of their highlights including a quarterfinals appearance at the Elite16 Hamburg event in August 2022 after progressing through from the qualifiers.