The Volleyball Foundation’s mission to connect, serve, and inspire commenced with a vibrant launch event at the FIVB Headquarters

The IOC President and Olympic Movement representatives joined members of the volleyball community and other esteemed guests for the celebration

A total of CHF 559,000 was raised through donations and an exciting auction, with funds set to support impactful projects across the world

The FIVB Headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland yesterday welcomed guests from the international sports community and beyond for the launch event of the Volleyball Foundation, raising over CHF 559,000 through donations and a special charity auction to support impactful volleyball projects worldwide.

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Key figures from the international sports community, including leaders from the volleyball community, the Olympic Movement, local authorities, sponsors, partners and distinguished sports leaders gathered for this milestone event.

Successful Fundraising Efforts

The event featured a special charity auction conducted by Piguet Auction House, with unique volleyball memorabilia generously donated by the FIVB and legends of the game. Featuring both online and live bidding, the auction raised an incredible CHF 59,000 for the Volleyball Foundation.

This amount, along with CHF 300,000 from the FIVB, GBP 100,000 from the CVC Foundation, and generous contributions from IOC Member KhunyingPatama Leeswadtrakul and FIVB Board of Administration Member and Volleyball Australia President Craig Carracher, brought the total funds raised to CHF 559,000.

As announced by FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça F°, the FIVB plans to allocate an annual budget of CHF 1 million for the Volleyball Foundation in 2025 and 2026, pending the approval of the FIVB World Congress later this year.  

FIVB and IOC Presidents welcome guests

The night began with a powerful speech from FIVB and Volleyball Foundation President Dr Ary S. Graça, welcoming guests and explaining how the Foundation will better connect and expand the global volleyball community of 800 million people across 222 countries.

“The Volleyball Foundation will play a vital role in promoting positive social values, helping to create a more collaborative and harmonious world,” stated the Volleyball Foundation President. “The Foundation is dedicated to creating a world where everyone has access to sport, no matter their gender, age, background or position. Where they have the opportunity to be healthy and active. To experience the joys of volleyball. And to learn important skills that will serve them throughout their lives.”

Meanwhile, International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach praised the initiative and thanked Dr Graça for his vision in launching the project. “Through this project, volleyball can really contribute to delivering the Olympic values and make the world a better place through sport,” he said. “The IOC already works closely with the FIVB with Olympafrica and the Olympic Refuge Foundation, and with this Foundation this excellent cooperation can be strengthened.”

Inspirational pilot projects take centre stage

During the evening, the Volleyball Foundation introduced two pilot projects: the Brahmaputra Volleyball League, a grassroots community league in Assam, India, involving over 10,000 children; and the Githurai Kimbo Volleyball Academy, which offers youth in one of Nairobi, Kenya’s most challenging slums a sanctuary through volleyball.

Diverse Volleyball Foundation Board and the Executive Director announced

The Volleyball Foundation’s independent Board was also introduced, featuring a diverse group of individuals dedicated to the Volleyball Foundation’s vision of a greater world through volleyball. 

The Board members include: 

Dr Ary S. Graça F°, President of the FIVB and Volleyball Foundation

Fabio Azevedo, General Director of the FIVB 

Alejandrina Mireya Luis, FIVB Executive Vice-President, and a three-time Olympic and two-time World champion 

Yuji Saeki, President & CEO of Mikasa, FIVB Board of Administration Member

Her Excellency Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al Thani, Vice Chairperson and CEO of Qatar Foundation 

Her Royal Highness Princess Ayah bint Faisal of Jordan, President of the Jordan Volleyball Federation and Jordan Olympic Committee Board Member

Nick Clarry, CVC Managing Partner 

And Charles Joye serving as the Secretary of the Board.

Elizaveta Bracht, a two-time Olympic volleyball silver medalist, has been named as the Executive Director of the Volleyball Foundation.

Supporters & Ambassadors celebrated

Key supporters of the Volleyball Foundation were also announced, including renowned organisations KITT & KISS, Mikasa, Decathlon, the Qatar Foundation, Generations for Peace and the Jordan Olympic Committee.

In recognition of its support, IOC Executive Board Member, Jordan Olympic Committee President and Generations For Peace Founder and Chair, HRH Prince Feisal Al Hussein of Jordan, took to the stage and said:

“In 2004, I went to the Olympic Games in Athens with a mantra: ‘peace is greater than gold.’ In 2007, to put this into practice, we founded Generations For Peace to use the power of sport to change divided communities for the better. What the Volleyball Foundation is doing is a continuation of this work, and that is why it is an honour and a pleasure to align ourselves with the Volleyball Foundation.

“The values of respect, friendship and cooperation are all lessons from sport. Volleyball is so well positioned because it has these values, alongside communication and coordination. These are key in transforming societies and communities that are suffering. As President Ary S. Graça said, together we can make a difference. And this Foundation will make a difference.”

Association of Summer Olympic International Federations (ASOIF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti was also present at the event, and stated:

“As the President of ASOIF, I have had the privilege to work with the FIVB and Dr Ary S. Graça for five years. What he has done tonight through the Volleyball Foundation, is to create an organisation for the grassroots, social and community benefit, and this is very important. The Volleyball Foundation sets a model for others, and I wish it every success.”

The event also introduced ambassadors for the Volleyball Foundation, all of whom are true legends of the sport. These include Mireya Luis from Cuba, a three-time Olympic champion and two-time World Champion; Vlad Grbic from Serbia, an Olympic champion; and Giba from Brazil, an Olympic champion and three-time World Champion.

The FIVB Volleyball Foundation is also proud to announce that the official notary signing ceremony took place this week in Lausanne, Switzerland, marking the formal establishment of the organisation that will serve the world through volleyball.