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Community Impact

FIVB Volleyball Foundation Launch Welcomes Special Olympics

New Foundation to harness volleyball's global influence for positive community change
Three men standing side by side in front of Volleyball Federation signage.
Special Olympics representative Krzysztof KrukowskiGiba (Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filho) , Olympic volleyball superstar and Ambassador of Special Olympics Brazil, and Special Olympics Global Ambassador Vladimir Grbic.

Special Olympics was present at the launch of the FIVB (Fédération Internationale de Volleyball) Volleyball Foundation in Lausanne, Switzerland, on 30 May. The newly-formed Foundation aims to leverage the global reach and power of volleyball to support community projects worldwide that create a positive impact.

The Volleyball Foundation will identify and support pioneering projects from across the globe, providing funding and resources to advance certified initiatives that promote the social well-being of communities through volleyball.

Three men standing side by side showing off a signed document.
Special Olympics Global Ambassador Vladimir Grbic, Special Olympics representative Krzysztof Krukowski and Dr. Ary Graça, President of the International Volleyball Federation.

Special Olympics representative Krzysztof Krukowski said, "We thank FIVB for their unwavering support and warmly welcome the launch of the FIVB Volleyball Foundation. This initiative marks a significant step towards inclusive volleyball, highlighting the importance of collaboration in promoting social well-being through sports.

“Inclusive volleyball is not just about playing the game; it's about fostering unity, breaking down barriers, and creating opportunities for everyone, regardless of their abilities. The support from FIVB allows us to extend our reach and impact, bringing the joy and benefits of volleyball to more communities around the world."

Dr. Ary Graça, President of the Volleyball Foundation, said, “It was a great pleasure to welcome Special Olympics at the FIVB Volleyball Foundation launch. The FIVB has already engaged in numerous productive collaborations with the organisation through our ongoing Memorandum of Understanding.

“At the Volleyball Foundation, we look forward to exploring more opportunities to work together with Special Olympics on promoting our shared values of teamwork, inclusivity and connectivity through volleyball.”

a man waiving.
Dr. Ary Graça, President of the International Volleyball Federation and Thomas Bach—the president of International Olympic Committee.

Special Olympics and FIVB have been collaborating on joint projects for some time, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding during the World Games Berlin 2023. This agreement set the stage for knowledge transfer programs, joint sponsorship efforts, cross-promotion of athletes and collaborative efforts to develop volleyball worldwide.

Olympic volleyball superstars Giba of Brazil, Vladimir Grbic of Serbia and beach volleyball gold medalist Laura Ludwig-Bowes of Germany were among those present in Berlin at the signing event.

The two organizations solidified their commitment to inclusion through sports with a series of events in Brazil and Poland in September and October 2023. On 23 September, Special Olympics Poland’s team attended a volleyball match between in the Polish city of Lodz as part of the FIVB Women’s Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifier.

The joint events continued in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. On 1 October, the Special Olympics Brazil team attended the volleyball match between the host team and Czechia at the FIVB Men’s Road to Paris Volleyball Qualifier. The match’s announcer informed the crowd about the historic MOU signed in Berlin, symbolizing the unity between the two organizations and the global volleyball community.

Looking ahead, Special Olympics is aiming to organize a World Unified Volleyball Tournament in Poland in 2025, featuring teams from across the globe.

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