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Special Olympics European (Unified Sports®) Volleyball Seminar in Belgrade, Serbia

Volleyball seminar participants come together for one final photo with Volleyball great  Vladimir “Vanja” Grbic, and Mary Davis, President, Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia. Photographer: Martha Jo Braycich, SOEE

To see more photos click on the photo

May 14-16 2012

The development of Special Olympics Volleyball and Unified Sports Volleyball is a focus for Special Olympics Europe/Eurasia in 2012 and beyond.  Whereas Special Olympics Volleyball addresses athletes with intellectual disabilities, Special Olympics Unified Sports® brings athletes with and partners without intellectual disabilities together for training and competition on the same sports teams.
Eleven Volleyball coaches and coordinators representing eight countries participated in the first regional (Unified Sports) Volleyball Seminar in Belgrade, Serbia May 14-16: Austria, Italy, Poland, Germany, Russia, Finland, Serbia, and Montenegro.

The seminar was kicked of with the signing of an agreement between André Meyer, President of the European Volleyball Confederation (CEV), Aleksandar Boricic, Vice President, CEV and President of the Serbian Volleyball Federation, and Mary Davis, President, Special Olympics Europe Eurasia (SOEE) on May 14. This agreement is an important foundation for the development of Volleyball and Unified Volleyball in the region.

The seminar agenda covered general introductions in Special Olympics and Unified Sports, Special Olympics Volleyball and Unified Volleyball rules and guidelines as well as discussions how to achieve equally high quality standards across the region and planning European activities and events. A three-hour practical session was organized involving local athletes and partners who are candidates for the first Special Olympics Serbia Unified Volleyball team that will be starting training soon. Luka Grumic, 17,who is eager to play as a partner on the new  team said: “This was a great training session! The atmosphere was very positive and I would like to continue playing with this team”!

Vladimir “Vanja” Grbic, Vice President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia and a multiple medal winner at the Olympic Games, European and World Championships actively engaged in the practical session and gave a highly motivational speech.

The seminar was also attended by 10 individuals from the US, Serbia and Montenegro who are taking part in a US Department of State-funded Fellowship aimed at enhancing coaching skills required to work with athletes with intellectual disabilities.