Following last month’s FIVB Congress in Rome Margaret Ann and I once more flew off to represent Scotland’s international interests at the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) Conference in Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia.
The trip started with the long journey to Slovenia via Frankfurt before we attended the General Assembly of the CEV Small Countries Division on Wednesday 13th. Since Margaret Ann is Vice-President of SCD her day started at 7:00 a.m. with a meeting of the Executive Committee before the General Assembly proper started at 9:00. For those of you not familiar with European volleyball administration, generally the continent is split into a number of “Zonal Association” areas for regional competitions. Scotland sits outwith this system, joining instead with 14 other small countries to agree cooperative ways of working together and to organise and host European events. For more details on SCD visit http://www.cevscd.org/ or check out CEV Small Countries Division on Facebook.
Financial discussions took up most of the SCD’s morning’s agenda. SCD has enhanced its fiscal and governance systems significantly in the last year, has recently appointed an Administrative Director (Sven Rautenberg) and has also opened up small office accommodation in Liechtenstein. As an organisation we are progressing well and on a much better footing than in the past so hope to continue enhancing the group in coming years. The afternoon session was focussed more on sporting issues including proposals from some of the very small countries for dispensation from some player eligibility rules, these discussions are ongoing. Informal discussions also took place on potential hosts and participants for future SCD youth, junior and senior championships. Applications and approval of these nominations will be formalise through CEV in due course, but we’d hope to see significant Scottish involvement where possible, potentially as a host in 2012/13.
Thursday was set aside for a meeting of the CEV Board of Administration so it gave the rest of us some downtime and the chance for informal and productive networking for the SCD group. We spent a lovely day visiting the highly impressive caves at Postojna before enjoying lunch together in a wonderful restaurant in the hills above Ljubljana.
The main item of business on Friday was a “Development Seminar” detailing the processes and procedures open to “Category 1 and 2” countries for accessing funds from both the FIVB and through CEV’s Sports Aid Programme. The FIVB funding may be accessible so I’ll look into this in detail over the coming weeks, having already placed it on the agenda for discussion when the SVA Board next meets in November.
The main event of our trip to this beautiful, friendly city was the XXXI CEV General Assembly which took place on Saturday 16 October. Distinguished guests included speakers from the Slovenian Government, the Mayor of Ljubljana, the FIVB President, Mr Jizhong Wei and the CEV President, Andre Mayer. The usual formalities and Finance Reports were followed by approval of proposed changes to the statutes and regulations to bring CEV in-line with the decisions made at FIVB Congress. There were then progress reports from each of the CEV Commissions and the Zonal Associations (including SCD). The final presentations were then delivered by each of the hosts for European Championships in 2011 followed by those appointed as hosts for Youth, Junior and Senior championships in 2012 and 2013, including the announcement that the winning bid to host the Senior Men’s championships in 2013 had been won by the joint bid from Denmark and Poland.
The week ended with a Gala Dinner following confirmation that next year’s General Assembly will take place in Vienna on 16 September 2011. I can hardly wait!
(More details on Congress and a photo gallery can be found at: http://www.cev.lu)