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31/08/2016 17:21
CEV President meets with Latvia’s highest authorities in Riga
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Jurmala/Riga, Latvia, August 31, 2016. CEV President Aleksandar Boričić travelled on Tuesday night to Latvia to have a series of high-profile meetings as the Baltic country is currently hosting the CEV Jurmala Masters, the last event of a truly successful 2016 Beach Volleyball season. Latvia’s ‘summer capital’ Jurmala will be hosting next year the CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship Final, the largest event of this kind ever held in any of the Baltic countries, and the CEV President used this opportunity to have high-level talks with some of the country’s most influential authorities.

On Wednesday morning, accompanied by Latvian Volleyball Federation (LVF) President Atis Sausnitis and CEV Vice President and Latvian Volleyball Federation Vice President Maris Pekalis, Mr Boričić had the honour to meet with Latvia’s Prime Minister, Mr Maris Kučinskis (see picture above). The CEV President and the Prime Minister found a consensus on the necessity to support elite sport and the country’s best athletes, while at the same time encouraging women’s participation in both Volleyball and Beach Volleyball where there is still room for improvement. The Prime Minister also announced that he is committed to supporting the organisation of next year’s CEV Beach Volleyball European Championship Final in Jurmala. The CEV President congratulated Mr Kučinskis on the outstanding results achieved by Beach Volleyball players from the Baltic country who have become a force to be reckoned with at all levels – from age-group championships all the way to the world’s elite which is now embodied by home stars Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins.

Latvia’s Minister of Agriculture, Mr Janis Duklavs, and the CEV President shake hands at the hand of their productive meeting

Next on the agenda was a meeting with Latvia’s Minister of Agriculture, Mr Janis Duklavs, who is also a member of the country’s Sports Council. The Minister plays a leading role in supporting sports and especially team sports by channelling funds provided by state-owned companies operating in areas such as forestry and agriculture. Mr Duklavs has also been a long-time supporter of the annual Lases Cup, a mass-participation event involving hundreds of children across the country and encouraging their involvement in Volleyball. The Lases Cup and other such activities are instrumental to the promotion of Volleyball among the young generations, and have already helped the Latvian Volleyball Federation involve many kids in their development programmes.

Mr Boričić had lunch with the President of the Latvian National Olympic Committee, Mr Aldonis Vrublevskis, with the discussions focussing on plans for the further development of sports – including Volleyball and Beach Volleyball – in Latvia and on a restructuring of the current system by taking lessons from the experience matured in the lead up to Rio 2016 and learning from the examples provided by more successful countries which could be adjusted to the specifics of the Latvian context.

CEV President Aleksandar Boričić and the Vice Mayor of the City of Jurmala, Ms Rita Sproge

Finally, the CEV President met with the Vice Mayor of the City of Jurmala, Ms Rita Sproge, to talk about the role that this city is playing in the development of Beach Volleyball in Latvia. Jurmala has got all facilities and offers ideal conditions for hosting international events and the CEV President said he already very much looks forward to next year’s European Championship Final that will crown a four-year-long project which started in 2014 with the organisation of a CEV Satellite.

CEV President Aleksandar Boričić portrayed together with LVF President, Atis Sausnitis and CEV Vice President and LVF Vice President, Maris Pekalis in front of the Freedom Monument, a memorial located in Riga, honouring soldiers killed during the Latvian War of Independence (1918-1920) 

These high-profile meetings further cemented the productive cooperation between the CEV and the Latvian Volleyball Federation, which has been a loyal and precious partner for many years already and has contributed to raise the profile of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball to unprecedented levels of success and exposure across the entire Baltic region.

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