Representing Scotland, Britain and Small Countries……..all in one weekend!
Roddy MacKenzie; the SVA’s eyes and ears of the media world gives us an insight into the CEV and what we can expect in the next few years………
Twenty-nine different nations – from Albania to Ukraine – were represented at the inaugural European Volleyball Confederation (CEV) Press Officers’ Seminar in Luxembourg.
I was privileged to be representing Scotland and all of the above for what was a first – not only for the CEV – but for any continental confederation.
Since the indefatigable Federico Ferraro took up the post of CEV Press Officer two-and-a-half years ago, it has been one of his ambitions to stage such an event and he had the full support of Andre Meyer, the CEV president.
Mr Meyer intended to give the opening remarks in Luxembourg but other commitments – he had to fly out to Japan that morning on official business meant he could not attend. What Federico achieved was to “bring everyone to the table” and it was significant that the Small Countries Division – of which Scotland is a part was well represented, sitting alongside the power nations of Italy, Russia,Germany, Serbia and Spain.
Federico talked us through the CEV media strategy for the future and was willing to take advice on board from an open forum which can only strengthen the bonds between national federations.
It was a full and frank discussion and, while Federico has undoubtedly achieved much since taking up a post which had,remarkably, been unfilled for seven months before he arrived, he was honest enough to admit not everything has gone to plan.
There were problems during the high-profile Final Four of the Champions’ League in Cannes when the wireless internet link was not available to journalists because it was overloaded with spectators using their phones to get online.
Jean-Paul Rommes, the CEV Competitions’ Director, outlined plans for a new CEV website which is not yet ready to go live but will do so within the next few months and will be more user-friendly.
Federico urged all press officers to continue to send interesting stories to the website. He has shown in the past that he is happy to include items from the smaller volleyball nations such as Scotland and the more we can get to him, the better.
The seminar also included an inspiring video produced by Italy and Serbia for next year’s European Women’s Championship finals in both countries, highlighting the skills and emotions that volleyball produces. Hopefully, it will soon be on You Tube for a wider audience to share. In addition to the formal proceedings, there was an informal dinner on the Saturday evening and many friendships were forged which will improve communication lines.
Paddy Murphy represented Northern Ireland and Rob Harding attended for Volleyball England, so the Home Nations were much in evidence and it was good to get the chance to make our voices heard.
It is testament to the work of Margaret Ann Fleming our current CEO that Scotland now holds some respect in the European arena and the official CEV yearbook for 2009-10 contains articles and photographs, not only from Small Countries Division meetings but from Scotland. A few years ago, that would have been unthinkable.
Preliminary talks are taking place to make the seminar an annual event and to bring on board the nations who missed the inaugural one.
SVA Press Officer