Rome, 9 & 10th September 2010
A record breaking 194 out of 220 member Federations attended the 32nd FIVB Congress, a record attendance for FIVB and probably the largest ever representation of any sporting Federation. Congress is the sport’s supreme governing body, it is held every two years and is defined as “the most efficient platform where the entire Volleyball family can congregate and exchange ideas and be fully updated on the happenings in the world of Volleyball”.
Prior to Congress FIVB had hosted a one-day Workshop on September 8th for 164 “Up and Coming” Federations (including Scotland) which was hosted by FIVB President Jizhong Wei, supported by the Board of Administration. This session focussed on the FIVB Development Fund and the processes for supporting growth and governance within developing members. It included a development workshop which highlighted areas where we as a country could improve and potentially access additional funding over the next two years.
I encourage you to look at the FIVB website to assess the potential funding source through the new World Development Fund and let the SVA Office know if you have suggestions to take forward. At our next SVA Board meeting in November we will consider suggestions made and discuss potential applications.
Unusually for any nation there were 3 delegates from Scotland, me as President of Scottish Volleyball and Margaret Ann Fleming the Association’s Chief Executive Officer were the two official delegates. Margaret Ann also had a role to fulfil as Vice-President of Europe’s Small Countries Division and as a member of the FIVB Disciplinary Committee. We were joined in Rome by fellow SVA Board Member, Sandy Steel who is President of the FIVB Rules of the Game Commission, one of the world’s highest ranking FIVB official. I know from personal experience that Sandy is held in very high regard by fellow Federations and is an inspiration to any potential new Scottish recruits to the world of FIVB Governance.
Between the three of us we ensured a strong Scottish voice was heard, we were also quite a formidable presence at the formal evening dinners with Sandy and I resplendent in our kilts. On behalf of the SVA I would like to thank UKSport and the FIVB for their continued financial support, this allows the SVA to send all three of us as paid delegates to Congress and to continue to represent the FIVB on Commissions.
The event had a full Agenda with a marathon 12-hour session on the last day. We covered a wide range of business from the approval of Annual Accounts and future Budgets to hearing progress reports from each of the continental Confederations and FIVB Commissions. There were two notable debates; on the management of finances and on the FIVB Constitution, issues of fundamental importance to the Federation as it continues to enhance its democratic processes and make itself more transparent to members. The key decisions made were to approve a new process for the FIVB President elections in 2012 and new Financial Regulations.
Other interesting developments were the launch of a new brand identity for FIVB and approval of an amendment to the Rules of the Game (which Sandy presented to Congress) which allows a team to replace a Libero, this change will come into effect on January 1, 2011. There were also presentations from the organizing committees of future major tournaments.
During Congress the FIVB also unveiled a new iPhone application and a new online communication tool called the FIVB Community, more detail on these is available through the FIVB website.
This was my first trip abroad as SVA President. It was hard work which I’d describe as both exhilarating and exhausting at the same time. I met lots of new contacts and made several new friends. The business was thought provoking, enlightening and an experience not to be missed. I will remember Congress most for the strong sense of cultural change that was evident all around me. Under President Wei we have an open and engaged fraternity with a collective will to grow the sport throughout the world, including in countries such as ours. I return glad of the experience and full of determination to continue our drive to make the SVA “Bigger, Better and Stronger”.