Dear World ParaVolley Community,
Wishing you all a great start to the new year, the year of the Paris 2024 Paralympics!
A month ago, our esteemed President and remarkable leader, Barry Couzner OAM, unexpectedly announced his retirement from World ParaVolley. Barry led our federation for 10 years, raising the level of accomplishment and achievement with his professionalism and integrity. He will be celebrated for his work as a volunteer and his compassion as a human being.
It is my honor to follow Barry as President for 2024 and accept the responsibility that comes with this position for an entirely volunteer-run international sports federation.
I begin the new year by listening to direct feedback, something I have done since joining the Board in 2022, and since Barry reached out to me in 2016 to become a technical official. I will meet with and accept information from a wide range of persons, starting with our Athletes’ Commission under the leadership of Nicky Nieves (USA), our Team Leaders of WPV Commissions, our members and more.
The WPV Board held successful strategic planning meetings in December under the professional facilitation of former WPV Vice President, Wayne Hellquist (CAN), and we expect to summarize and begin forming the plan later this month looking ahead to the LA28 Paralympics and Brisbane 2032. We have much work to do, and some areas that require our immediate attention.
We will begin to share more information through our existing and new social media channels, to ensure the correct information reaches you. And you can reach back to us with direct feedback.
In these early months, we will conclude and move to the next phases of projects that began under Barry’s leadership that will prove beneficial to the long-range sustainability of World ParaVolley. One key project being the completion of our official incorporation as a U.S. based non-profit organization that began with the Board’s approval in 2022.
Looking ahead to Paris, our Paralympic Technical Delegate, Glenn Stewart (AUS) and the entire Sport Department is focused on the Paralympics planning in final stages.
More to come in the next weeks and months. And as always, your ideas, comments and input can be shared directly at email@example.com or through our social media channels.
Happy New Year!
Lori Okimura (USA)
President, World ParaVolley