500+ children have loads of fun at CEV Youth Summer Festival in Zagreb
News from the National Federations
Zagreb, Croatia, September 8, 2016. A good laugh, a great atmosphere, close matches and happiness, hugs and tears – these words sum up the experience that many children from Croatia and also from other countries enjoyed last week when attending the CEV Youth Summer Festival held at Lake Jarun, in the centre of the Croatian capital, Zagreb. The city hosted such an event for the third straight year and this time around the festival was visited by more than 500 people (including parents, children, Beach Volleyball lovers, coaches and by-passers). The Festival was hosted by the Beach Volleyball club Erste Zagreb and the Croatian Beach Volleyball Association with the support of the European Volleyball Confederation.
The success of this project is testified by the impressive number of children – some 300 – which came together from different parts of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The goal of the project is to develop and promote Beach Volleyball in a way that is accessible to all, and especially to young people. The youngest participants in the competition were born in 2006; the competition was open to boys and girls as well as to mixed teams.
The city of Zagreb has recognised Beach Volleyball as a summer youth Olympic sport that is developing at a very fast pace and therefore the organisers secured the visit of the Deputy Mayor and Vice-President of the Zagreb City Council, Mrs Jelena Pavicic Vukicevic, and the Head of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports of the City of Zagreb, Mr Ivica Lovric.
Mrs Pavicic Vukicevic addressed a few words to the children and other young people attending the festival: “I want these days to remain in your memory for a long time. I want this festival of Beach Volleyball to be marked by fair play, where the best will eventually win, and to all of you, since tomorrow the school year starts, I want to wish a happy return to school. Of course, I also wish you will continue to play this wonderful game in future.”
Since she celebrated her birthday during the festival, all of the participants taking part in the Festival sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to her and as a souvenir Mrs Pavicic Vukicevic was presented with a volleyball by the Secretary of the Zagreb Beach Volleyball Association, Mr Damir Radeljic.
The Head of the Department of Education, Culture and Sport, Mr Ivica Lovric had the honour to present a special gift to a Beach Volleyball club from Prijedor (Bosnia and Herzegovina), since the guests from the neighbouring country had been trying to join the festival for the past two years already but could not fulfil their dream due to severe flooding that affected their home region – however, this time around they finally could make it to Zagreb and enjoyed being a part of the event.
Another special recognition was awarded to a Beach Volleyball club from the Croatian coastal city of Porec – since they have provided more than 100 volunteers for the organisation of the Porec Major Series in 2015 and 2016 and they have participated every year in the Summer Festival organised in Zagreb with more than 30 kids.
The 2016 CEV Youth Summer Festival in Zagreb drew to a close with the awarding ceremony for each of the categories contested – and with an ambitious statement made by the organisers that they are planning to deliver the festival to an even higher level in 2017.