The Sultans of the Net were named Best Team, while TVF President Ustundag was recognized as Best Sports Manager
Turkish volleyball was honoured in two categories at the Best of the Last 30 Years in Sports award ceremony held on the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Ankara University Faculty of Sports Sciences.
The women’s national volleyball team, who had their most successful season in its history during the year the country celebrated their Republic’s 100th anniversary took the award in the Best Team category. The team have won their first-ever titles in the Volleyball Nations League and the CEV European Championship, as well as their Road to Paris Olympic qualification tournament, rising to number one in the FIVB World Ranking.
Meanwhile, Turkish Volleyball Federation President Mehmet Akif Ustundag (pictured above; credits: tvf.org.tr) was recognized in the Best Sports Manager category. The winners were determined by the votes of the Ankara University students.
The 30th anniversary events of the Ankara University Faculty of Sports Sciences started with a friendly soccer match between the Ankara University and the MKE Ankaragucu Ankara teams, continued with the opening ceremony of a Republic and Sports Path, and culminated with the award ceremony.
In his acceptance speech, President Ustundag said:
“Today, we are together to celebrate a proud period for Turkish volleyball. This victory is the success of a community that set out not as ‘me’, but as ‘we’. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of our Republic, we have achieved a unique success in the world. No country has ever won three championships in four months, that is, in one season. In the unforgettable year 2019, we shed tears after the 3-2 (EuroVolley) final match we lost to Serbia in Ankara. However, before this year's final match, I told our girls this:
“‘Turn the tears you shed because we lost into the tears you shed because we won. Bring this happiness to our country. Let's be proud.’
“I would like to thank our players, who made this victory possible on the 100th anniversary of our Republic. I accept this award on behalf of all our stakeholders, who contributed to this success. We are all part of the same team. I represent the families, coaches, clubs, federation, managers who contributed to this success, sports fans who sacrificed their sleep at night and supported us wholeheartedly, members of the press and everyone who supported us. I believe that we will continue this success at the Paris 2024 Olympics.”
“The Sultans of the Net have become a source of pride for our country with their success this year,” said Ankara University President Necdet Unuvar. “They woke us up late at night and allowed us to experience these proud moments in front of the screens. I would like to thank and congratulate them once again. I congratulate our Federation President, Mr. Mehmet Akif Ustundag, for these great achievements and thank him for being among us.”