A MESSAGE FROM HANNO PEVKUR
European Volleyball is at a crossroads – either we will stay on the path we are on, and risk losing group to other sports, or we grow significantly and become a top 3 team sport in each European country. To achieve the latter, we have to increase our performance on every level, and becoming the biggest family sport in the world. When someone loves volleyball, we cannot accept that we will perform on an average level. To achieve these goals for the future, we have to grow, we have to do more and we have to do it better. But we also have to understand, that the future for us cannot always be on the horizon.
The future is now!
In June, we will elect a new leadership for CEV. I want to thank all our National Federations for giving me the biggest number of votes and strong support at the last elections four years ago. It has been an honour and a privilege to serve you all as a Vice-President of the CEV and be part of a team who managed to make some steps forward in developing volleyball.
I have spoken with many federations and individuals who also believe that we can do more and we can do better, and many have approached me with the proposal to lead the CEV to the new era of growth as President. After discussing it with my family, federation and friends in volleyball, I’ve decided to accept this proposal and will run for the President of the CEV.
Below are the first ideas I have for the future of our beloved sport. Of course, I am ready to work with other good ideas, which might come up over the coming months and years, because now is the time for the CEV leadership to listen to all of our members, players, coaches, referees, clubs, leagues, sponsors, partners, fans, and others who live for volleyball every day. Only together, can we grow and achieve our goals.
A NEW STYLE OF LEADERSHIP
In our everyday decision-making process, there is a clear need to set good governance principles and practicesin place at the CEV. And to use and respect them! The Executive Committee and the Board of Administration need to be the bodies that are taking the real leadership. I want to see the Executive Committee include representatives from all zonal associations, and from small, medium and big countries. What’s more, gender equality should not only be a nice saying! We need to establish a better mechanism for ensuring more women can get into leadership positions in the CEV. I also want to see us becoming more open and equal in relation to our partners and sponsors. We have to use public tenders as much as we can, in order to find the best deals and solutions for European volleyball, while treating all partners with maximum respect.
True solidarity - no one is left behind
We all understand that the top competitions, top leagues, top clubs and top athletes are the ones who shine the most and are most in focus. And our stars must be promoted. But we have 56 National Federations who all have their own stars and volleyball culture; who want to compete and have their own success stories like Iceland in football or Lithuania in basketball. It is the responsibility of the CEV leadership to ensure that each federation feels important, and to support all those who work tirelessly to develop volleyball every day and contribute to the growth of our beloved sport. That is why the CEV has to establish a clear and open solidarity mechanism for helping smaller countries in their efforts to become better.
Build bridges, not walls!
We can only be strong when we are together! The CEV has to have good relations with all of European volleyball’s diverse group of stakeholders. We must respect the people who have dedicated their lives to volleyball, no matter the personal feelings to each other. When it comes to volleyball, we should all be talking the same language, - about volleyball, for volleyball! Every discussion should have one focus – what is better for volleyball?
Naturally, that also means the best relationship possible between the CEV and FIVB! To develop volleyball in Europe and worldwide, it is of utmost importance that the CEV and FIVB walk the same path. The CEV has the biggest competence among confederations and that also means having the biggest responsibility to work with FIVB to modernise volleyball and help the game around the world.
Zero tolerance to doping or match fixing Volleyball is an intelligent sport, and it must also be a forerunner in the fight for clean sport. In volleyball, there is no place for manipulation, which means zero tolerance to doping or match fixing!
A NEW COMMITMENT TO DEVELOPMENT
A clear development plan for the leagues
In order for volleyball to truly thrive, we must be understood to be a professional sport with professional players. In order to increase the value of our sport, we have to listen to the interests of the players and clubs, and better understand their wishes and needs. We have to learn from and develop more top leagues like the Italian, Turkish, Russian or Polish league; leagues where people live and breathe for volleyball. But the CEV also has to be a good partner to other national and regional leagues. To do this, we need to develop volleyball’s player market while providing better regulations for transfers. We have to work alongside clubs to develop solutions regarding the calendar, ensuring that both clubs and national team matches are well-coordinated.
Strong zonal associations
I believe in strong zonal associations. The work they are doing needs to be supported with the help of the FIVB, especially regarding development and local, regional activities. For this, we must increase the support for youth competitions across the board.
Volleyball education and bringing more children to volleyball
Educating our players, coaches and referees on the highest level in all of our countries is a huge challenge, but a challenge we can manage. We must develop a special programme, where top players, coaches and referees will help smaller countries to perform better. The main goal and challenge still remain - how can we bring more children to play volleyball? How can we bring them in front of the net, not in front of the screen! To address this, the CEV must increase the funding of development projects, and we must build bridges with the European Union to work towards our collective goal of a more active society.
A NEW PLAN FOR PROMOTING OUR SPORT
A clear brand for volleyball
I truly believe that only a close relationship with our players and clubs can bring more people on and off courts and new partners to volleyball that share the same vision. There is a need for a clear volleyball brand, that fans, partners and sponsors recognise. Let’s show the beauty of volleyball as an intelligent team sport. Let’s give the people entertainment, passion and emotions.
New technologies and digitalisation
The CEV must put more focus on creating and utilising new possibilities. Digitalisation is not about achieving simple numbers (fans, clicks, likes, views, etc…), but to transform them in favour of volleyball and to get more data to reinvest back into volleyball. Moreover, it is not in our interest to reject the debate about E-sport - I see E-sport as an opportunity to grow volleyball’s popularity and to attract new types of sponsors and new fans to the sport. We know how popular the gamification of football, basketball or motorsport has been – now is the time for volleyball.
Promoting volleyball via social responsibility
Promoting volleyball also means promoting social responsibility. Here, the CEV can be one of the leaders. We need a clear position regarding sitting volleyball, as we have a clear position on beach volleyball or snow volley. I believe that sitting volleyball must be a part of the big volleyball family. No one in volleyball should be left behind! We can help everyone to feel the same emotions, same passion and feeling as any professional volleyball player. And we must encourage social responsibility via different projects alongside entrepreneurs.
Dear friends, when you decide to support me, then I’d like to be supported not because I offer something privately to each of you, but because I offer open opportunities to all of you. Opportunities that all of us can develop and take advantage of together. It’s up to each one of us which direction the CEV will go. I know that we all love volleyball and we know that we can do more and we can do it better!
I invite everyone who believes that the future should not be somewhere far away, but right here and now, to join my team. I promise to be a President of 56 Federations, to be an equal partner for all the players, coaches, referees, clubs, leagues, partners, sponsors and fans. Because I love volleyball. Because volleyball is my passion!
THE FUTURE IS NOW