HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
With the new year now upon us, this is a great time to thank everyone who has supported us along the way. For British Volleyball, 2012 was the year where dreams were realised, history was made, goals were smashed and memories created…
There are now over 50 British Volleyball Olympians/Paralympians… This is huge for our sport. We hope that the British volleyball stars of the future no longer have to look to foreign teams for their hero’s, they now have their own British stars to look up to, aspire to and most of all to learn from. There is nothing more valuable than this in helping push our sport to the next level.
Although 2012 has now gone, it will most certainly not be forgotten…
The London Olympics were a unique show and an unforgettable experience for everyone involved, whether that be the athletes, staff, spectators, volunteers, or members of the public sat at home watching on TV. The Games radiated energy around the country and we hope they are inspiring the next generation of British sportspeople.
Six months on, everywhere you look whether its on TV, Newspapers, Twitter or Facebook, people are still talking about the Games!
For Volleyball, London 2012 was an immense platform to showcase our amazing sport. Those who had never seen or heard of volleyball before came to Earls Court Arena or watched on TV and soon became volleyball fanatics. Those who were already volleyball enthusiasts left feeling inspired, wanting to play more and fulfil their potential whatever level that may be.
The opening statement of the review comes from the FIVB President, Jizhong Wei:
“I hoped that the London 2012 Olympic Games could present the ultimate global stage for volleyball, to show the whole world what a great sport it is and how much joy and satisfaction can be taken from it… They did just that!”
There has been nothing but praise for the Volleyball competition at London 2012. Members of the public, players, coaches, media, celebrities… people from all walks of life have endorsed not only the sport, but the organisation and entertainment as none other than spectacular. Heres what the “Volleyworld” Cover story had to say…
“Prior to these games, Volleyball had no tradition and very little following in Great Britain. But packed houses day and night made Earls Court something of a Mecca for sports fans during the Olympics and ensured that Volleyball made its mark on the historic sporting nation of Great Britain.”
“Contributing factors of success were laid by volunteers who gleefully gave their time, energy and expertise to enable all of the other important components to reach such unexplored levels of accomplishment.“ Captain Lynne Beattie supports this statement:
“As a player, I agree 100% that the contribution of the volunteers made the Volleyball Event at Earls Court the success that it was. They were always wearing a smile, offering words of encouragement and support and were always there if you needed their help. I have listened to a few of my friends and family talk about their Olympic experience over the last few months and every single one of them highlighted the friendliness and enthusiasm of all of the volunteers, whether they were inside the venue or standing on street corners to guide you in the right direction.”
As a developing volleyball nation, we are sure there were a few people who doubted whether we were able to put on a ‘good show’. We sure showed them!!! Not only did we put on a ‘good show’ but many have endorsed it as the best Olympic Volleyball Tournament in history.
“Thanks must go to LOGOC and all the volunteers and administrators, including the police and the army for their full collaboration and friendly hospitality” President Wei said. “They are all very helpful and the organisation has met our requirements. I also appreciate the IOC’s understanding and support. The Olympic Games is a unique global platform with world peace and harmony to the fore.
“The British public has also been superb in their attendance and participation, especially for two sports which are relatively foreign to them, and I’m sure their athletes will do them proud.”
“The motto of London 2012 - Inspire a Generation - is absolutely commendable and the FIVB will use these Games to inspire the world’s youth and the British youth to participate in sport through volleyball and beach volleyball by showing the immense skill set and team spirit of our players.”
With the stands graced by the likes of Kobe Bryant, Sebastian Coe and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a wonderful atmosphere was greatly appreciate by the players. Here’s what some of the world best players thought of Earls Court…
Ekaterina Gamova of Russia: “I think these Olympic Games were the best I have ever seen. Perfect organisation… definitely the best I have ever played.”
Luciano De Cecco of Argentina: “We were not ready for all this adrenaline that so many spectators are giving us… Volleyball is really doing something special here in London”
GBW performance and future of our sport in GB:
As a team the GB Women exceeded the nations expectations. The truth is we met our own goals. We competed to the best of our ability against the best teams in the world and we won a match at the Olympic Games. The fact that we were disappointed not to progress to the knockout stages of the competition shows the belief we had in ourselves and how far we have come over the years. We can now compete credibly against the best teams in the world.
The Volleyworld review quotes GB Middle Blocker, Ci Michel: ”We’ve just been playing against the best teams in the world. Its been a phenomenal experience. We had fun and we are still smiling...”
Following our final Olympic match against World number 3 Japan, FIVB President Mr Wei, once again spoke very highly of our team and was keen to assure us that we had more than exceeded expectations with a bright future ahead for British Volleyball:
“You are a very young team and you have shown that you can offer a legacy. You have given the world a message that Great Britain are here to stay. You have improved every day and I know that you will inspire a generation.”
LOCOG Chairman Sebastian Coe who graced the stands of Earls Court, was also full of enthusiasm for Volleyball and the future of the sport in Great Britain:
“Volleyball is a unique synthesis of speed, agility, strength and coordination. It portrays the perfect athlete and with the addition of the scenario at Earls Court, you cant ask for a better showcase of volleyball’s beauty and appeal.”
The London 2012 ‘Volleyworld’ review has highlighted that not only did we as a nation host an outstanding Olympic volleyball competition, but we have put British Volleyball on the world map and inspired our own nation to get involved in volleyball, laying a great foundation for the future of Volleyball in this country.
Didn’t we; our sport, our nation, do well….