Arnhem, Netherlands, 13 July, 2018 – World ParaVolley’s journey into a thriving new era took a significant boost when its General Assembly approved the motion to add an elected female and male athlete representative to the World ParaVolley Board of Directors on Friday.
Athletes at the heart
With the goal of having athletes play a significant role in the World ParaVolley organisation, the athlete representatives, who will have a four-year term starting from 2018, will be able to contribute to an exciting future of a sport played by 15,000 participants around the world.
Making the constitutional change brings World ParaVolley in line with the International Paralympic Committee and other leading organisations with the goal to obtain gender equality in all operations of the organisation. World ParaVolley already achieved that goal at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games when the referees had a 50/50 gender split while the 2018 edition of the Sitting Volleyball World Championships, which start in the Netherlands on Sunday, features the top 16 teams from each gender.
Successful transitioning towards a bright future
World ParaVolley President Barry Couzner OAM opened the General Assembly, which had 31 of its 53 members in attendance, by reviewing the past two years which featured successful international events at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, the Intercontinental 2016, Zonal Championships and a women’s Super Six.
President Couzner said World ParaVolley has improved governance by having increased personal with the organisation with an appointed Medical Director, Assistant Sport Directors, two new Zone Presidents and a Communications Manager.
Other key news included the opening of a new World ParaVolley Development Centre in Hangzhou, China, new agreements with Molten, Senoh and Gerflor while international relations have also improved with the International Paralympic Committee, Association of Paralympic Sports Organisations and the International Wheelchair & Amputee Sports Federation.
New events have also bred new life into the organisation with the World Super 6, qualification events for the World Championships and the Paralympic Games while nine new chairpersons were appointed across 11 World ParaVolley commissions.
World ParaVolley also successfully introduced a Beach Paravolley Commission as well as Youth Sitting ParaVolley rules.
The main goals for the future include the introduction of an Athletes Commission, ensuring World ParaVolley becomes financial stable and sustainable while technology will play an increasingly important part in the organisation’s operations.
Other key targets include continued code compliance with Anti-Doping and IPC Classification, development centres in every zone, improved cooperation with the FIVB, a bid process for events as well as a major goal of having Beach ParaVolley in the LA2028 Paralympic Games.
Athlete and volunteer safeguarding and a team health care personal policy will also be at the forefront of World ParaVolley initiatives going forward.
Recognising great work
Meanwhile, Wayne Hellquist (CAN), Laurent Torrecillas (FRA) and Jim Leask (USA) were all elected for four-year terms as Vice President, Sports Director and Marketing Director respectively.
Meanwhile former ParaVolley Europe President Toralv Thorkildsen, former World ParaVolley Referees Commission Chairman Gaby Lotan and former World ParaVolley Sports Director Denis Le Breuilly were all declared honorary life members of World ParaVolley.